86 Common Spanish Terms of Endearment: Show Affection for Partners, Family & Friends

Using Spanish terms of endearment isn’t only for romantic relationships. You can talk with your close friends, play with your pets or even say encouraging words to your colleagues.

Did you know that Spanish native speakers talk differently? Women and men don’t use the same sentence structures, and they also use different terms of endearment. I’m a co-founder of a project called Spring Spanish that made a great video on this topic:

If you’re curious to learn more, check other videos on the YouTube channel. For now, let’s explore the topic of Spanish terms of endearment. On Effortless Conversations, we’ll give you chunks (more on what they are later) and example sentences.

1. Common Spanish terms of endearment for love and affection

Okay, it’s time to be honest. It’s not enough to say I love you in Spanish. Using terms of endearment can express affection, intimacy, and love that you can’t always portray with romantic Spanish phrases.

These Spanish terms of endearment help in romantic relationships to strengthen the bond between partners. It can help you make feel valued and cherished.

Whether you’re whispering sweet nothings or writing a love letter, these expressions can add some warmth and emotional connection to your Spanish sentences.

You can use them during dates, in texts, or even as casual, everyday expressions of love.

SpanishEnglish
Mi amorMy love
Mi vidaMy life
CariñoDarling
Mi corazónMy heart
CieloHeaven
Mi tesoroMy treasure
Mi almaMy soul
Amor míoMy love
PrincesaPrincess
Mi reinaMy queen

In a real-world situation, it could play out this way.

Juan: Mi amor, ¿quieres salir a cenar esta noche? (Juan: My love, do you want to go out for dinner tonight?)
María: Claro, mi vida, me encantaría. (María: Of course, my life, I would love to.)

2. Terms of endearment in Spanish for family

Within the family, it’s also useful. You can show your love, respect, and support in tough times.

These expressions create a warm environment, and that helps everyone feel special and appreciated.

Use these terms in daily conversations, during family events, or in messages and calls to show affection and closeness.

SpanishEnglish
MamáMom
PapáDad
AbuelaGrandma
AbueloGrandpa
HermanoBrother
HermanaSister
TíaAunt
TíoUncle
HijoSon
HijaDaughter

Let’s imagine this scenario:

Ana: Hermana, ¿puedes ayudarme con la tarea? (Ana: Sister, can you help me with my homework?)
Lucía: Claro, hermano, siempre estoy aquí para ti. (Lucía: Of course, brother, I am always here for you.)

3. Use Spanish endearment terms for friends

Joking around with friends?

It’s a fantastic bonding opportunity! Express camaraderie, affection, and loyalty. These common Spanish phrases will get you closer together. They are used in Spanish conversations, social events, parties, and you know… casually.

SpanishEnglish
AmigoFriend (m)
AmigaFriend (f)
CompañeroCompanion (m)
CompañeraCompanion (f)
HermanitoLittle brother
HermanitaLittle sister
CuateBuddy (m)
CuataBuddy (f)
ColegaColleague
ManoBro

In an actual Spanish conversation, this could sound like this:

Carlos: Hola, cuate, ¿quieres ir al cine esta noche? (Carlos: Hey, buddy, do you want to go to the movies tonight?)
Miguel: Claro, amigo, suena genial. (Miguel: Sure, friend, sounds great.)

4. Spanish diminutives for children

Using terms of endearment for children is a wonderful way to show your love, care, and tenderness.

spanish terms of endearment can be used for little angels

These phrases help create a nurturing environment: and what’s more important than that? It makes everyone feel safe and cherished.

Spanish diminutives are common for children, and we’ll tell you a little bit more about them later in this blog post. You can use the following table when you want to express daily interactions, bedtime stories, or when comforting and encouraging children.

SpanishEnglish
Mi niñoMy boy
Mi niñaMy girl
PequeñoLittle one (m)
PequeñaLittle one (f)
ChiquitoSmall one (m)
ChiquitaSmall one (f)
TesoroTreasure
AngelitoLittle angel (m)
AngelitaLittle angel (f)
CielitoLittle heaven

A real-life example could be:

Luisa: Mi niño, ¿cómo te fue en la escuela hoy? (Luisa: My boy, how was school today?)
Pedro: Muy bien, mamá. ¡Jugamos mucho en el recreo! (Pedro: Very well, mom. We played a lot during recess!)

5. Endearing terms used for pets

Pets! Do we even deserve them? They are so lovely and cheerful that we can’t just use any expression for them. Show you love and affection with these Spanish terms of endearment!

spanish terms of endearment can be used for cute puppies

They will make your bond with your pets even stronger! Because, truth be told: they are an important part of the family. You can talk about your family in Spanish with these, sometimes funny Spanish words when your playing with them, feeding them, or when you’re simply cuddling your pet after a long day.

SpanishEnglish
PerritoLittle dog
GatitoLittle cat
Mi bebéMy baby
CositaLittle thing
ChiquitínTiny one (m)
ChiquitinaTiny one (f)
PeluchínLittle plush
FirulaisCommon dog name
BichitoLittle bug
MimosoCuddly (m)

For example in a dialogue:

Marta: Mi bebé, ¿quieres salir a pasear? (Marta: My baby, do you want to go for a walk?)
Luis: Claro, perrito, vamos a divertirnos. (Luis: Sure, little dog, let’s have fun.)

6. Terms of endearment to show respect for colleagues

Using terms of endearment with colleague might be strange the first time. But this time, it’s not about showing love, rather than respect and appreciation.

Using the right terms can help build a friendly and collaborative work environment. Make small talk in Spanish with these phrases during breaks, before or after meetings or through any other work-related communications.

SpanishEnglish
ColegaColleague
CompañeroCompanion (m)
CompañeraCompanion (f)
AmigoFriend (m)
AmigaFriend (f)
SocioPartner (m)
SociaPartner (f)
JefeBoss (m)
JefaBoss (f)
CrackAce, star performer

In a real context, it could carry on this way:

Elena: Hola, colega, ¿cómo va el proyecto? (Elena: Hi, colleague, how’s the project going?)
Raúl: Muy bien, compañera, ¡gracias por tu ayuda! (Raúl: Very well, companion, thanks for your help!)

7. Learn Spanish words for general acquaintances

And maybe you’re just getting to know someone. You can also use some endearment words in these cases. They make the social interaction better, and make you feel more personable during this talk.

The following table includes terms that can be used in everyday settings, casual conversation, social gathering, or even in professional settings. They are the sure way to go!

SpanishEnglish
AmigoFriend (m)
AmigaFriend (f)
VecinoNeighbor (m)
VecinaNeighbor (f)
CompañeroCompanion (m)
CompañeraCompanion (f)
ChicoGuy
ChicaGirl
JefeBoss (m)
JefaBoss (f)

For instance, in a dialogue:

Luis: Hola, vecino, ¿cómo estás hoy? (Luis: Hi, neighbor, how are you today?)
Rosa: Muy bien, amiga, gracias por preguntar. (Rosa: Very well, friend, thanks for asking.)

8. Different ways to address people with diminutives

Spanish diminutives can also be used for terms of endearment. What are they?

Well, they are suffixes added to nouns (and sometimes even adjectives) to show smallness, or familiarity with a given person or being.

They are used express fondness, too. Here’s how we could explain diminutives in Spanish using a little bit of math:

Spanish Word + -ito/ito = Spanish Diminutive Form

It’s a little complicated like this, so let’s check examples already:

  1. For masculine nouns: Perro + -ito = Perrito (Dog + -ito = Little dog/Puppy)
  2. For feminine nouns ending in a vowel: Casa + -ita = Casita (House + -ita = Little house)

Diminutives are extremely common and they are used in everyday Spanish language to soften the tone of a statement. You can also make something sound cuter, if you want to.

Here’s how it works in action: the first column is the Spanish term, the second column is the Spanish term with diminutives used!

SpanishSpanish DiminutiveEnglish
CasaCasitaLittle house
PerroPerritoLittle dog / Puppy
NiñoNiñitoLittle boy
FlorFloritaLittle flower
PanPanecilloBread roll / Small bread
AmigoAmiguitoLittle friend (m)
MesaMesitaSmall table
FotoFotitoLittle photo
GatoGatitoKitten
PelotaPelotitaLittle ball
LibroLibritoLittle book
HombreHombrecitoLittle man (term of endearment)
CaféCafetitoLittle coffee (term of endearment)
MujerMujercitaLittle woman (term of endearment)
JardínJardincitoLittle garden
CucharaCucharitaTeaspoon / Little spoon

9. Practice worksheet for terms of endearment in Spanish

You can start practicing right now! Fill in the blanks with the missing word!

And this was only part of the exercise. You can click this button below, and you’ll get access to our Full Practice Worksheet Library where we have tons of exercises.

10. Learn more words in Spanish and impress your Spanish-speaking friends with Conversation Based Chunking

Listing all of these phrases is just the first step. You also have to learn them.

But!

We don’t advise you to actually sit down and remember all of these terms: instead, immerse yourself in the language, and listen to Spanish radio stations, learn Spanish while driving, and even check the best free Spanish YouTube channels. By doing so, you’re getting closer to the true language native speakers are using, and that’s what’s truly important!

Combine all of this with the Conversation Based Chunking method. A method that focuses on the lexical chunks found in the language, that help you build your target language. Instead of focusing too much on grammar, pick up these chunks and embed them in the language. In no time, you won’t even have to check the grammar definitions, because you’ll know how to use the language by itself.

It’s no different in Spanish! And here’s what we have to offer: if you click this button below, we’ll give you a FREE Spanish Chunking Starter Pack with all the essentials needed to start your Spanish language learning journey.

Plus, you can exercise with our practice worksheets and you can even read about my favourite resources to learn Spanish. It’s up to you now!

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