How to Say, "I Like You," in French

Rachel Hanson
Happy smile

If you need to learn how to say, "I like you," in French, you are in luck, because there are several different expressions you can use to share this sentiment easily and accurately.

Determining the Context

There are many different situations in which you might say "I like you" to somebody. Choosing the correct French equivalent for the phrase is largely based upon the context in which you want to tell someone that you like them. If your declaration is more of a romantic one, you will want to use a different expression than if you want to let someone know you appreciate their friendship.

How to Say, "I Like You," in French

Depending on your exact intentions with the phrase "I like you," choose one of the translations below in order to express your appreciation for another person.

Je t'aime bien

This phrase, literally translated, would mean 'I love you well', which doesn't seem to make that much sense in English. However, literal translations can be deceiving. Essentially, this phrase is a softening of the phrase 'I love you' (je t'aime). When you want to tell someone that you like them as opposed to love them, je t'aime bien is the correct phrase for the job.

Je vous aime bien

This phrase is an important one to learn so that you can tell people who are not your close personal friends that you like them too. This phrase is exactly identical to je t'aime bien, but then the informal word 'you' (tu) has been replaced for the formal word 'you' (vous). If you want to tell your teacher, a colleague, or some other non-family member or close friend that you like them, this is the appropriate phrase.

Je t'aime

In some situations, such as light-hearted ones, it can be acceptable to simply use the phrase for 'I love you' (je t'aime) to mean that you like someone. You can also, in the same situations, use the phrase je t'aime beaucoup to express a light-hearted and friendly sentiment. Be careful using this phrase though, because it can be misinterpreted as a declaration of love. Because of the restraints of context on using this phrase to mean 'I like you,' you would never transform je t'aime (informal) into je vous aime (formal). If the person to whom you are speaking is not familiar enough to say tu to, then using the phrase 'I love you' would always be inappropriate for the context.

Tu es sympathique (sympa)

Instead of telling someone that you like them, you can also express your appreciation for the person by saying that they are nice (sympathique - often shortened to sympa in speech).

Tu es genial

Similar to saying that someone is nice, genial means that someone is awesome or great. This phrase would most often be uttered in a context when the person has just done something really nice for you or really thoughtful. Your response might be to thank them for being them by using this phrase.

Expressing Sentiments in French

If you live in a French-speaking region, or have a lot of French-speaking friends and acquaintances, it is important to learn how to express personal sentiments in French. In addition to learning how to say, "I like you," in French, you may also want to learn how to say I love you, congratulations, I miss you, and describe your feelings in French. Knowing how to share these personal sentiments in French is an important step to developing meaningful relationships with people who do not share your native language.

How to Say, "I Like You," in French