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Je t'aime (confusing translation)

I was learning pronouns as a lesson in French, and when it told me to translate "Je t'aime," I wrote "I like you." It marked it incorrect and said it meant "I love you." Wouldn't that be "Je t'adore?" If "Je t'aime" is I like you, then how do you say, "I like you?"

February 26, 2018



"Je t'aime." is talking to a person and always means "I love you." when you are talking about things "aimer" will mean "to like". Je l'aime." could mean "I like it.", but it could also mean "I love him." or "I love her." Unfortunately, you can only tell by context. "la" is the direct object pronoun for "her" or for an "it" that happens to be feminine in French and "le" is the direct object pronoun for "him" or for an "it" that happens to be masculine. In French, everything is either masculine or feminine and you just have to learn which each is. https://www.thoughtco.com/french-gender-masculine-endings-1368853 https://www.thoughtco.com/french-personal-pronoun-1369050

To say that you "like" someone and not "love" that person, believe it or not you will add a word "Je t'aime bien." It is kind of like saying "I like you well enough.", but it is just translated as "I like you." and you just ignore the word "well". If you really want to say that you love a thing, that is when you would say "Je l'adore."


So, in French they solve the problem by assuming that "Je l'aime." means either "I love him." or "I love her." and they say "I like that." instead for things, so "J'aime ça." would be used for a thing.

The other thing to remember is that in French they rarely say that they love things, so when translating expressions like "Love me, love my dog.", they will use "aimer" for both, even though technically that would mean "like my dog".


Je t'aime can mean both to like and to love. Je t'adore also means to love but it's more than Je t'aime, I don't think there's a direct translation in English of a term we would use like that. Je t'adore is closer in meaning to something akin to "I adore you" or "I worship you". I believe Je t'aime is a lot more common to say "I love you". To say "I like you", Je t'aime bien is more common, I think.

[deactivated user]

    Je t'aime is a mild version of "I love you" so basically "I like you" almost. I don't understand what Duolingo is doing with aime/adore. "J'adore" would mean "I love," yes.

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