To love, To love and To love

Amar y Querer … y Encantar

(to love and to love … and to love)

With so much LOVE, español must be MUY romántico … or just confusing.

In romantic Spanish songs, you’ll hear, “…te amo…” (I love you) and “…te quiero…” (I love you)

Do they mean the same thing?

José José sings that they are not igual in the first few lines of his song, El Amar y El Querer.

José José
José José – 2000 By THE SLY (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Casi todos sabemos querer,
pero pocos sabemos amar,
es que amar y querer no es igual,
amar es sufrir querer es gozar

(Here for the full lyrics, “la letra)

We find out from José José that loving with Amar is to suffer (sufrir) and loving with Querer is to delight (gozar). Um…O.K.? Hmmm. I’m so confused now. Let’s keep exploring.

Phone texts between couples commonly end with, “TQM” (for, “Te Quiero Mucho”)
I want you a lot? As in…?

NO! Nobody is wanting anything here, simply mentioning that one loves the other a lot. These messages may also commonly end with, “Te amo”.

Question: Earlier, I saw that “Amar” and “Querer” mean something different. For couples, is “te amo” and “te quiero” the same thing?

Answer: Yes, for couples, especially for “tu media naranja” (your “half an orange”, referring to “your better half”, as in husband or algodon_parejawife, soulmate.)

According to my “media naranja”, Maru, who is 100% Poblana (from Puebla, Mexico), if I were to say to her, “Te amo” or, Te quiero”, she would take it the same way, with no additional meaning one way or the other. She stated that people may also extend a, “te amo” to their son or daughter. However, she mentions that you would not typically say, “Te amo”, too quickly to someone you are dating, nor to friends, nor pets if you love them, just “te quiero”.

Got it?

Let’s check a couple more sources to really bring this into perspective.

The Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy) is the official authority on common standards and usage of the Spanish Language. In its dictionary, the first two entries of the definition of, Querer, are:

1. Desear o apetecer. (to desire or to fancy)
2. Amar, tener cariño, voluntad o inclinación a alguien o algo. (to love, to have affection, a willingness or inclination towards someone or something)

In the Bible it says this about, “amar” or “amor”,

El amor es sufrido, es benigno; el amor no tiene envidia, el amor no es jactancioso, no se envanece; 5 no hace nada indebido, no busca lo suyo, no se irrita, no guarda rencor; 6 no se goza de la injusticia, más se goza de la verdad. 7 Todo lo sufre, todo lo cree, todo lo espera, todo lo soporta.”

(In English as: “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”)

I think I’m starting to get it. Sometimes amar and querer, both mean to truly love the one(s) you love. But sometimes, QUERER is puppy-loving, desire-fulfilled, playful, affectionate, no-strings-attached, I-want-you-baby LOVE.

While, AMAR is aching, suffering, never-ending, passionate, selfless, sun-and-the-moon, bend-over-backwards, life-is-not-enough-with-out-you LOVE

Pffew, I think, now, I got it.

Wait, there is yet another way to love?

Let’s take for example when people come to Pueba. They love to eattortillas, mole, chilaquiles, tortas, enchiladas, cemitas, memelas, chalupas, tacos de carne asada, chiles en nogada and so many other things that after a couple weeks for this type of love, Tums alone isn’t enough for the after effects.


Could you say, “Amo el mole” or “Amo las enchiladas.”?
You could, but by the explanation above, that would be weird.
Also, “quiero tacos”, doesn’t say you love tacos, just that you “want” tacos. As in, “I’m hungry, send me some more tacos, por favor”.

In comes…“Encantar” – for loving everything else that literally, “enchants” you. Just not your partner, friend, dog, son, daughter or anything else.

Me encanta el mole. Me encantan los tacos de carne asada. Me encantan las salsas picantes que pongo en mis tacos de carne asada.

Oh ya! I love! I love! I love!

Me encantan los mexicanos.
Amo a mi vieja (my old lady), o sea mi media naranja.
Quiero a mis estudiantes.

What do you love, love, love?

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