French has long been known as the language of love, and few cities are as romantic as Paris. If you’re looking for ways to impress your significant other, French love quotes go further than a box of chocolates or a bouquet ever could!
These French expressions of love reveal a deep reverence for the romantic and refer to love as the essence of life. Many of these romantic french sayings can be taken as pieces of philosophy. Whether you want to dazzle your darling or deepen your understanding of life, many brilliant French thinkers can light the way for you.
What Are the Most Romantic French Sayings?
The most romantic French sayings include quotes from writers, artists, philosophers, and singers alike. Let’s take a look at the best French love quotes of all time.
|French||English Translation||Who Said It|
|C’est cela l’amour, tout donner, tout sacrifier sans espoir de retour.”||“That is love, to give away everything, to sacrifice everything, without waiting for anything in return.”||Albert Camus|
|“En sa beauté gît ma mort et ma vie.”||“In her beauty reside my death and my life.”||Maurice Scève|
|“Une femme est plus belle que le monde où je vis, et je ferme les yeux.”||“A woman is more beautiful than the world in which I live, and so I close my eyes.”||Paul Élard|
|“Car, vois-tu, chaque jour je t’aime davantage, aujourd’hui plus qu’hier et bien moins que demain.”||“For, you see, each day I love you more, today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.”||Rosemonde Gérard|
|“Il n’y a qu’un bonheur dans la vie, c’est la vie, c’est d’aimer et d’être aimé.”||“There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.”||George Sand|
|“Il n’est rien de réel que le rêve et l’amour”||“Nothing is real but dreams and love.”||Anna de Noailles|
|“Amour veut tout sans nombre, amour n’a point de loi.”||“Love wants everything without condition, love has no law.”||Pierre de Ronsard|
|“La vie est une fleur dont l’amour est le miel.”||“Life is a flower of which love is the honey.”||Victor Hugo|
|“La vie est un sommeil, l’amour en est le rêve.”||“Life is a long sleep and love is its dream.”||Alfred de Musset|
|“Aimer, c’est vivre; aimer, c’est voir; aimer, c’est être.”||“Love, it is life; love, it is sight; love, is to be.”||Victor Hugo|
|“Oh ! Si tu pouvais lire dans mon coeur, tu verrais la place où je t’ai mise!”||“Oh! If you could read my heart, you would see the place that I keep you!”||Gustave Flaubert|
|“Entre deux cœrs qui s’aiment, nul besoin de paroles.”||“Between two hearts in love, no words are needed.”||Marceline Desbordes-Valmore|
|“Je viens du ciel et les étoiles entre elles ne parlent que de toi.”||“I come from the sky, and the stars only ever speak of you.”||Francis Cabrel|
|“Quand on est aimé on ne doute de rien. Quand on aime, on doute de tout.”||When we are loved, we doubt nothing. When we love, we doubt everything.”||Colette|
|“Le prix d’Amour, c’est seulement Amour… Il faut aimer si l’on veut être aimé…”||“The price of love is love itself… One must love if one wishes to be loved.”||Honoré d’Urfé|
|“Quand il me prend dans le bras, il me parle tout bas, Je vois la vie en rose.”||“When he takes me in his arms, and speaks to me softly, I see the world through rose-colored glasses.”||Édith Piaf|
|“L’amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie.”||“Love makes the greatest pleasures and most sensitive misfortunes of life.”||Madeleine de Scudéry|
|“L’amour est comme le vent, nous ne savons pas d’où il vient.”||“Love is like the wind, we don’t know from whence it comes.”||Honoré de Balzac|
|“Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.”||“Love does not consist in looking at each other, but rather in, together, looking in the same direction.”||Antoine de Saint-Exupéry|
20 French Love Quotes with English Translations
1. “Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
English translation: “Love does not consist in looking at each other, but rather in, together, looking in the same direction.”
Perhaps best remembered for the beloved book, The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery was also an avid aviator used to charting his own path. Direction is just as vital to a relationship as it is to aviation, and this romantic French saying reminds us that love is not just about being swept away, but also about moving forward, together.
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2. “C’est cela l’amour, tout donner, tout sacrifier sans espoir de retour.” – Albert Camus
English translation: “That is love, to give away everything, to sacrifice everything, without the slightest desire to get anything in return.”
Albert Camus was a French-Algerian writer who was the second youngest person to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature. Camus expresses an essential aspect of love more beautifully than most of us could, moving past the rose-colored glasses view to remind us that self-sacrifice and placing someone else above your needs is the definition of unconditional love, the foundation of any long lasting partnership.
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3. “En sa beauté gît ma mort et ma vie.” – Maurice Scève
English translation: “In her beauty resides my death and my life.”
Maurice Scève was a poet from Lyon during the 1500s who was part of the city’s cultural elite. This thought-provoking French love quote harkens back to his discussion and exploration of spiritual love, a concept elusive and compelling to all of us, not just poets. Maurice perfectly joins the beauty in love with the impact it has on the one in love – that intense contradiction of feeling everything and nothing, death and life, your existence bound to another. It’s beautiful and scary at the same time.
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4. “Une femme est plus belle que le monde où je vis, et je ferme les yeux.” – Paul Éluard
English translation: “A woman is more beautiful than the world in which I live, and so I close my eyes.”
Paul Éluard was a renowned French poet who helped found the Surrealist movement, something evidenced here in his rejection of reality. Love defies reason, much like this quote. By closing our eyes metaphorically, or shutting out the world for a second, we are opened up to new experiences and beauty that otherwise could have escaped us. Love is not tangible, and sometimes we need to disconnect to embrace it.
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5. “Car, vois-tu, chaque jour je t’aime davantage, aujourd’hui plus qu’hier et bien moins que demain.” -Rosemonde Gérard
English translation: “For, you see, each day I love you more, today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.”
Rosemonde Gérard is remembered as a French poet and playwright who came from a distinguished French family and married to a Prime Minister of France. As someone surrounded by so much beauty, she was fortunate to also possess a keen talent for expressing with words the whimsical beauty of mature love. We so often focus on the honeymoon phase and fail to appreciate the true marvel that is a connection that deepens and strengthens with time. Who wouldn’t be optimistic about tomorrow with this awaiting them? Practice saying this romantic French saying in French to impress your partner during your next anniversary celebration.
6. “Il n’y a qu’un bonheur dans la vie, c’est d’aimer et d’être aimé.” – George Sand
English translation: “There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.”
George Sand was the most successful female French writer in the 1800s, and she chose to write under a male pseudonym to reach a wider audience. She was unabashedly herself and a true feminist, engaging in many love affairs and even dressing like a man. Her vast experiences in living and writing about romance show in this insightful French love quote – to be loved and accepted for who we are is pure bliss. As a woman who fought for her place in a man’s world, she would know what she’s saying.
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7. “Il n’est rien de réel que le rêve et l’amour.” – Anna de Noailles
English translation: “Nothing is real but dreams and love.”
Anna de Noailles had a colorful life as the daughter of a Romanian prince and the first woman named Commander in the French Legion of Honor. She wrote prolifically about love itself. Her life might have been charmed, but not easy, and she was often a sickly child. Spending long amounts of time in bed does give a mind time to dream, which she did, crafting poems that still resonate to this day. She might indeed have a point here in this French quote about love, because life without dreams and love is not really living. In the end, our relationships are worth more than anything.
8. “Amour veut tout sans nombre, amour n’a point de loi.” – Pierre de Ronsard
English translation: “Love wants everything without condition, love has no law.”
If there is one thing we can all agree on, love knows no bounds and has no sense of reason, and Pierre de Ronsard has summed up this idea beautifully by saying “love has no law”. He was a popular poet throughout his life, and entertained French society with his writing and keen observations. Of course, Pierre also continues to inspire us today with his thoughts on love. The next time you are wondering “how did I manage to date that person?”, remember that a French poet from the 1500s already gave you the answer.
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9. “La vie est une fleur dont l’amour est le miel.” – Victor Hugo
English translation: “Life is a flower of which love is the honey.”
Victor Hugo is perhaps one of the most well-known French writers and many of his works are translated into multiple languages. We all know him as someone who could look at the world unflinchingly, like in Les Miserables. For as many unflattering critiques as he made, he also has left us with this gem of a French love quote. Life is beautiful, like a flower, and honey is the sweetest product one can obtain from flowers. Love is the best part of something already beautiful – life. We are lucky it is there to add color and meaning.
10. “La vie est un sommeil, l’amour en est le rêve.” – Alfred de Musset
English translation: “Life is a long sleep and love is its dream.”
Alfred de Musset grew up in a good family that had financial difficulties. Surviving this childhood to begin working and writing must have given him a thick skin, a skin that only got thicker through his romance with George Sand (mentioned above). It is rumored to have ended badly for poor Alfred, which must have hurt him deeply. This romantic French quote alone shows his emotional depth. If life is a long sleep, there should always be time to dream, or find love even if our earlier attempts have failed. There is always time for another dream.
11: “Aimer, c’est vivre; aimer, c’est voir; aimer, c’est être.” – Victor Hugo
English translation: “Love, it is life; love, it is sight; love, is to be.”
Victor Hugo has already been mentioned here, but his writings are full of beautiful French quotes about love, and this one also deserves a mention. Could any of us imagine a life in which we experience no love? Love gives us purpose and keeps us motivated. Victor is right – love is life, love is living. And, we all deserve a life filled with love.
12: “Oh ! si tu pouvais lire dans mon coeur, tu verrais la place où je t’ai mise!” – Gustave Flaubert
English translation: “Oh! If you could read my heart, you would see the place that I keep you!”
Gustave Flaubert is maybe best known in English-speaking circles for his famous book, Madame Bovary, which does indeed address the complex topic of love. However, this line he penned captures perfectly the emotions that fill us when we think about our special person. Even for Flaubert, sometimes words did not suffice, and most of us probably can agree that it would be so much easier if we could just show our special people the place they hold in our hearts.
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13:“Entre deux cœurs qui s’aiment, nul besoin de paroles.” -Marceline Desbordes-Valmore
English translation: Between two hearts in love, no words are needed.
In reference to that dilemma faced by Flaubert, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore offers us hope. A poet and novelist who wrote in the 1800s, Marceline summed up one of those less discussed but crucial parts of a relationship in this French love quote. There are those moments of quiet silence, when you’re with your person, and no words are needed. Love is invisible and intangible, and sometimes, you don’t need to see something to know that it exists.
14: “Je viens du ciel et les étoiles entre elles ne parlent que de toi.” – Francis Cabrel
English translation: “I come from the sky, and the stars only ever speak of you.”
Francis Cabrel had a flair for expression. Love exalts us and lifts us up to cloud nine, and he adds an additional layer – up in the sky, even the stars speak of your loved one. Falling deeply in love colors the world, and shapes our perception. When you are with that special someone, it does feel like the earth, the stars, everything revolves around them. It sounds even better to say that in French!
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15: “Quand on est aimé on ne doute de rien. Quand on aime, on doute de tout.” – Colette
English translation: “When we are loved, we doubt nothing. When we love, we doubt everything.”
Colette was a curious figure in French society, and began her writing career uncomfortably tied to her husband’s career. He was an older and recognized writer who actually ended up taking her brilliant stories and writing and passing them off as his own. Colette was not to be defeated so easily, and became famous and recognized outside of her relationship. You can hear her sage wisdom in this French quote about love, which can serve as a gentle reminder that we all need to both be loved and love. Make sure love always feels reciprocal. Colette herself knew this better than some, and it is not something to be taken for granted.
16: “Le prix d’Amour, c’est seulement Amour… Il faut aimer si l’on veut être aimé…” – Honoré d’ Urfé
English translation: “The price of love is love itself… One must love if one wishes to be loved”
Honoré d’ Urfé was a French novelist in the 17th century who penned a well-known book called L’Astrée, but this quote alone is enough to prove he knew how to use the written word. You have to know love to feel it, something we are gently reminded of here. If one cannot show love, they quickly become difficult to love.
17: “Quand il me prend dans les bras, Il me parle tout bas, Je vois la vie en rose.” – La Vie en Rose by Édith Piaf
English translation: “When he takes me in his arms, and speaks to me softly, I see the world through rose-colored glasses.”
Edith Piaf is one of the better known French singers, and this song La Vie en Rose is popular to this day, and is filled with expressions of love in French if you listen closely. The melody and the sweet sound of the French words can sweep you away as you think about how beautiful life is when you’re being held by the one you love. Everything looks more appealing and the world a less scary place.
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18: “L’amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie.” – Madeleine de Scudéry
English translation: “Love makes the greatest pleasures and most sensitive misfortunes of life.”
Madeleine de Scudery was a French writer in the 1600s who is still recognized for her sophisticated works. This French love quote is just one example of her mastery of the concept of love and her ability to express the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows that is this adventure the French call le amour.
19: “L’amour est comme le vent, nous ne savons pas d’où il vient.” — Honoré de Balzac
English translation: “Love is like the wind, we don’t know from where it comes”
Honoré de Balzac was a famous French playwright in the 1800s who penned many popular plays, and also blessed us with this observation. Love is a four letter word that encompasses so many complex intricacies, much like the wind in the sense that we cannot control it. We don’t see it, but we can feel it with us. Love is a force of nature.
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20:“Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point.” – Blaise Pascal
English translation: “The heart has reasons for which reason knows nothing.”
This classic expression of love in French is a perfect ending point. Pascal recognizes and reminds us that love and who we love are aspects that we ourselves might not even understand. Love can make us do crazy things, and who is really to judge? The parts of life that give it meaning often defy reason, and make it more beautiful. The heart wants what it wants, and that is part of what makes us human.
Any of these French love quotes is sure to impress your special someone. Want to learn more romantic phrases and sayings? Check out our tutorial on French flirting below!
Why is French the Language of Love?
There are many theories as to why French is known to be the most romantic language on earth. One theory is based on the sound of the language itself. The smooth, flowing sentences and the melodic intonation make the language a pleasure to listen to, especially when it comes to hearing French expressions of love. Another factor is that France has produced some of the world’s greatest artists and philosophers, who have expressed deep truths about love and life in the French language.
Perhaps the most interesting theory about why French is considered the language of love is the concept of “courtly love.” In the 12th century, the idea of a knight performing heroic deeds out of a sense of chivalrous and noble love for a lady became popular. Though the concept of courtly love started as a fictional way to entertain nobility, popular culture eventually caught on to the romantic narrative, and it’s now found its way into various expressions of French art and philosophy.
If you’re looking to learn French, these French love poems can be used to develop your understanding of metaphors in the language, and they will strengthen your descriptive vocabulary. At any rate, these romantic French sayings are sure to sweep your lover off their feet. Just make sure that you practice the right pronunciation to avoid an embarrassing mishap!
Ready to Practice These French Love Quotes?
After reading these beautiful and romantic French love quotes, it’s clear why French is the universal language of love. To work on your French conversational skills and improve your French accent, join one of our live, online classes for free today!