1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

I love you to bits

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Shark, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Shark

    Shark Senior Member

    London
    France - French
    Hello!

    Could someone tell me what exactly is the connotation of:

    I love you to bits/
    I love you to pieces?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    to bits/pieces here just means a lot. i have no idea why (so don't ask lol)
     
  3. Shark

    Shark Senior Member

    London
    France - French
    Ok thank you very much Benjy! Don't worry, I'm not going to ask why this time! ;)
     
  4. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Both mean "je t'aime à la folie". Can't think why either.
     
  5. Shark

    Shark Senior Member

    London
    France - French
    Oh, that much??? So it actually strenthens the world "love" and not attenuate it?
     
  6. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Oh yes, if you love someone to bits you really really love them!:p

    Edit - thinking about your question I think I should make clear that it is not "romantic" love. You would say it to a friend that you really really love, but not to a boy- or girl-friend. It would sound too flippant to someone you loved romantically.

    However, in terms of a friend if you love them to bits it's stronger than just saying you love them.

    Hope you see what I mean!
     
  7. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    what is the meaning of 'flippant' here timpeac please ?

    i'm asking, because i didn't know the word, and found that it means excessively casual. how can someone be excessively casual with their loved one ? i think you have the right to be everything you want with your loved one... :eek:
     
  8. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    "Only given a small amount of thought" WR gives "cavalier". A flippant remark would be one that you give very little thought to before saying it.

    Edit - my dictionary gives léger as a possible translation.
     
  9. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    so what were you trying to say, viz boy/girl friends and love them to bits ? that it's too shallow ? i'm sorry to insist like that, i seem to not be able to see your point :(
     
  10. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    I'm trying to explain..."I love you to bits" is definitely not something you would say to your lover over a romantic candle-lit dinner, I think other English speakers would agree (anyone please feel free to agree or contradict!!) It is a colloquial phrase and would sound inappropriate.

    However, that's not to say that "to love someone to bits" is weaker than just "to love someone". Of a friend I could say "I love xxx" but if I said "I love xxx to bits" it would be stronger.

    OK - I stand by the above comments, but your question to me is why would "I love you to bits" sound inappropriate in a romantic situation, and I am having trouble explaining why, I'm sorry. It doesn't sound "serious" enough. It is a much more "serious" statement to tell someone you love them in the romantic "for the rest of my life" sense than to say the same to a friend, I'm sure you'd agree. It is this lack of gravity that is "flippant" or "not serious enough" and makes it inappropriate.

    Fellow native speaker - help me out here!!:(
     
  11. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    here i come to save the day! well atually probably not as i am having THE WEIRDEST conversation with some french kid asking me how to rap lol. word of advice to those wishing to make their msn public. don't do it. unles you like strange people.

    anyhows back to the subject in hand. i agree totally with tim. i know that what he is saying might sound weird but its totally correct.

    i love him to bits is more an expression of fondness than of romantic love. when you say that you love you sister, you don't love her in the same way as you partner. i love you to bits is an expression to express the friendship/family type of love. and its a "strong" way of doing it. it is not for you partner.

    any clearer?


     
  12. Shark

    Shark Senior Member

    London
    France - French
    Ok! That's great then! :D :D :D Thank you very much everyone !!!!

    Edit: It's friends indeed who told me that.
     
  13. bryona New Member

    USA, English
    I'm not sure I agree that it's stronger. Adding "to bits" sounds more casual and playful, less serious. "I love you" can be sincere or insincere, depending on context and tone; "I love you to bits" is far more likely to be insincere. It's just too exaggerated to be serious for most people...at least, in my experience.
     
  14. deGerlaise

    deGerlaise Junior Member

    Canada - English
    In my experience 'I love you' to bits' is quite playful and affectionate. It can be lover to lover. Mother to child. Aunt to neice. It means that you love everything about them. The way the hold their fork, the way they tilt their head, the way they smile. the way they frown. Just about the whole package. It's a nice phrase. Furthermore, Canadian men don't usually say this because it's regarded as a 'cute' phrase. I've never regarded it as insincere. Yes, I agree, not that romantic although it depends on the situation and the context, but definitely affectionate.
     
  15. calembourde

    calembourde Senior Member

    Genève, Suisse
    New Zealand, English
    I think it comes from if you have, say, a teddy bear, and you've loved and cuddled it so much that it's falling to bits.
     
  16. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    Then I'm not sure je t'aime à la folie would work.
    Maybe something along the lines of je t'adore, or je t'aime énormément. But then we miss the metaphor.
    If you wanted to keep one, you could also say
    je te mangerais from an adult to a child.
    I was led to this suggestion by calembourde's explanation of the origin of the expression.
    I don't think it's a good thing to say to a child :D (imagine how traumatizing it might be) but I've heard it.
     

Share This Page