How do you say "love" in Spanish? Let us count the ways...
- There's the verb amar ("to love"), which is pretty easy to remember because it shares Latin roots with the English words "amorous" and "enamored."
- There's the verb querer, which means both "to love" (someone) or "to want" (something). You've probably heard:
Te quiero = "I love you" +
Yo quiero Taco Bell = "I want Taco Bell"
- Then there's the verb encantar ("to love," or "to enchant"), which is used to express "love" in the sense of liking something a whole heck of a lot (i.e., gustar mucho). It is used with objects, not people. For example:
Me encanta esta ciudad = "I love this city."
Me encantan esos pantalones = "I love those pants."
Did you note in our examples above that the verb encantar (like gustar) agrees with the object of affection (la cuidad / los pantalones), instead of the speaker? The construction, if expressed in English, might be "Those pants enchant me."
In the newest video content currently featured on Yabla Spanish, we interview Jesús Baz, the director of studies at the don Quijote Spanish-language school in Salamanca.
Be assured, long-time teacher Jesús knows his Spanish -- and he loves his hometown of Salamanca, Spain. Here's how he expresses his affection:
Yo soy salmantino, y me encanta mi ciudad porque me parece una de las ciudades más bonitas del mundo.
"I am from Salamanca, and I love my city because I think it's one of the nicest cities in the world."
[Captions 25-6, Escuela Don Quijote - Jesús Baz]
So, feel confident about following Jesús's example and describing the love you feel for your own favorite place in the world with the verb encantar.
For further discussions on "love," see:
About.com > Te quiero vs te amo
WordReference.com > Encantar / amar
WordReference.com > Querer / amar and amar / querer