French literature is a treasure trove of quotes on love, so in today’s post we put the spotlight on some of the best French love quotes we could find.

Not all French stereotypes are accurate, but French isn’t dubbed the language of love for nothing. The language itself is romantic to read and listen to!

The French quotes on love we’re sharing in this post might reflect on love, loss, and sex, oh la la!, but none of the quotes will bluntly ask you voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?

One might say that many beautiful French words, from amour to poésie, are enough to make one whimsical on their own, but they’re even better when we get poetic about love. So in this post we’ll dive into 16 French love quotes from the pillars of French literature, 10 French love sayings and proverbs, as well as 4 French quotes on beauty.

We’ve included the author of the quote where known; if we omitted the attribution, the French source is unknown. The English translations are our own interpretations.

16 French quotes about love

Below are some romantic French phrases you can share with your beloved. Some are accurate observations on different types of love, while others address the loss of love and the consequences that come with it. The never-ending supply of French love quotes can reassure us all that love is on everyone’s mind, and that it is best spoken and read about in French!


On n’est pas maître de soi-même, amoureux comme je suis de toi.

-Victor Hugo

We are not masters of ourselves, as in love as I am of you.


Votre œil me fait un été dans mon âme.

-Pierre de Ronsard

Your gaze creates a summer in my soul.


Je ne sais pas où va mon chemin mais je marche mieux quand ma main serre la tienne.

-Alfred de Musset

I don’t know where the road leads, but I walk better when my hand squeezes yours.


Aime-moi : car sans toi, rien ne puis, rien ne suis.

-Paul Verlaine

Love me: because without you, nothing can be, nothing is.


Après avoir fait l’amour, le premier qui parle dit une bêtise.


After having made love, the first to speak says nonsense.


Il y a des larmes d’amour qui dureront plus longtemps que les étoiles du ciel.

-Charles Péguy

There are tears of love that will last longer than the stars in the sky.


La vie est un sommeil, l’amour en est le rêve, et vous aurez vécu, si vous avez aimé.

-Alfred de Musset

Life is slumber, love is the dream, and you will have lived if you have loved.


L’amour est le miracle de la civilisation.


Love is the miracle of civilization.


Pourquoi faudrait-il aimer rarement pour aimer beaucoup ?

-Albert Camus

Why should we love rarely to love a lot?


L’amour est la seule passion qui ne souffre ni passé ni avenir.


Love is the only passion that does not suffer a past nor a future.


À qui sait bien aimer il n’est rien d’impossible.


For those who can love well, nothing is impossible.


À force de parler d’amour, on devient amoureux.

-Blaise Pascale

By talking about love a lot, one becomes in love.


Quel sublime enfantillage que l’amour!

-Alexandre Dumas

What sublime childishness love is!


Ce que l’on aime avec violence finît toujours par vous tuer.


What one loves violently always ends up killing you.


Pour qu’un homme et une femme s’aiment vraiment, il ne suffit pas qu’ils se soient fait plaisir, qu’ils se soient fait rire, il faut aussi qu’ils se soient fait souffrir.

-Françoise Sagan

In order for a man and a woman to truly love each other, it’s not enough that they’ve given each other pleasure, that they’ve made each other laugh, they must have made each other suffer also.


L’absence de l’être aimé laisse derrière soi un lent poison qui s’appelle l’oubli.

-C. Aveline

The absence of the one you love leaves behind a slow poison called oblivion.


10 French sayings about love – French proverbs about love

There are many French phrases about love, so here we present 10 such quotes that are somehow timeless. A few of these that refer to women may be considered fairly one-sided in this day and age, but they can easily be modified to refer to men or simply to people.


L’amour est le soleil de l’âme, il échauffe et vivifie tout notre être.

-Louis-Xavier Bourgeois

Love is the sun of the soul, it heats and brings vitality to our entire being.


La jalousie éteint l’amour comme les cendres éteignent le feu.

-Ninon de Lenclos

Jealousy extinguishes love like ashes extinguish fire.


L’amour doit tout oser quand il a tout à craindre.

Love must dare everything when it has everything to fear.


Vivre d’amour, c’est donner sans mesure.

-Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux

To live from love, is to give without measure.


L’amour est un capricieux qui désire tout mais qui se contente de presque rien.

-Madeleine de Scudéry

Love is a capricious one, that desires everything but is happy with almost nothing.


Il n’est richesse que d’amour et santé.

The only wealth is love and health.


Le véritable amour ne vit que de confiance et de fidélité.

True love only lives through trust and fidelity.


Heures de nuit, heures de jour, sont toujours bonnes en amour.

Night hours, day hours, are all good hours for love.


Amour de femme est comme vin de bouteille : le soir il est bon, le matin il est gâté.

Love of a woman is like wine from a bottle: in the evening it’s good, in the morning it’s spoiled.

The punch line of this one has a bit of a double entendre, since gâté has the same two meanings in French as spoiled does in English. Has the love gone sour in the morning, or is it rather an instance of pampering?

Here, we can obviously switch femme for homme to fit our context.


Femme qui prend et jamais ne donne, l’amour de l’amant l’abandonne.

The woman who takes and never gives, her lover’s love abandons her.

This is one where we can easily exchange the gender: Homme qui prend et jamais ne donne, l’amour de l’amante l’abondonne. Note that the word for lover in French is gendered, so we can also modify that detail to suit the context. See our post on French family words for a good list of vocab for couples in French.


4 French quotes on beauty

French beauty quotes and phrases certainly merit their own post, but we couldn’t resist leaving you with a few French words for beauty from some notorious French writers. We’ll start with famously cheeky quotes by Sacha Guitry and Serge Gainsbourg, and end with flowery quotes on inner beauty by Victor Hugo and Mireille Maurice.


Le meilleur moyen de faire tourner la tête d’une femme est de lui dire qu’elle a un joli profile.

-Sacha Guitry

The best way to make a woman turn her head is to tell her she has a pretty profile.

This one’s a bit of a play on words. We just wrote the literal translation of tourner la tête, which is to turn one’s head. However, a slight variant on this expression, tourner de la tête, also has the connotation of having one’s head spinning, or being dizzy, while it can also be similar to being head over heels.


La laideur a ceci de supérieur à la beauté qu’elle ne disparaît pas avec le temps.

-Serge Gainsbourg

Ugliness is superior to beauty, in that it does not disappear with time.


La beauté est relative. Le plaisir, la joie, ou la douleur même illumine le visage et lui donne un genre de beauté qui vient de l’intérieur.

-Mireille Maurice

Beauty is relative. Pleasure, joy, or even pain, illuminates the face and gives it a type of beauty that comes from within.


Aucune grâce extérieure n’est complète si la beauté intérieure ne la vivifie. La beauté de l’âme se répand comme une lumière mystérieuse sur la beauté du corps.

-Victor Hugo

No external grace is complete if internal beauty does not give it vitality. The beauty of the soul expands like a mysterious light on the beauty of the body.


Conclusion: French love quotes

Now that we have explored the world of French sayings about love, perhaps all this romantic talk made you miss your beloved, in which case you might need a refresher on how to say I miss you in French.

Or, if you’re looking for inspiration on how to impress your crush, we hope you’ll grab your favorite French terms of endearment along with your favorite selection of French romantic phrases from this post and enjoy the floating hearts it will undoubtedly produce.


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