If you checked out what I wrote about how do you say “I love you” in Spanish you’ve seen the most common way to say “I love you” is te quiero. This can be confusing because if you know a little about Spanish you know the literal translation of te quiero is “I want you” not “I love you” since the root verb of quiero is querer and querer means “to want.” But even though the literal translation is “I want you” it is interpreted as “I love you.” So if you just have lust on your mind how do you say “I want you” the same way we say it in English meaning “I want you sexually”? Use the verb desear instead of querer.
I want you. (sexually)
The literal translation of te deseo is “I desire you.” The root verb desear means “to desire.” If you want to tell them that you want to kiss or have sex with them you would go back to using the regular verb for “want” querer. So…
I want to kiss you.
Te quiero besar.
teh kee-ehr-oh beh-sahr.
I want to have sex with you.
Quiero tener sexo contigo.
kee-ehr-oh teh-nehr sehk-soh kohn-tee-goh.
Technically you could use desear for the two phrases above and it would be understood but it’s not as common as you using querer. Also desear doesn’t have to mean anything lustful when you are using it in other circumstances. It kind of means “wish.” You could say this:
I desire (wish) to take Spanish classes.
Deseo tomar clases de español.
deh-seh-oh toh-mahr klah-sehs deh ehs-pahn-yohl.
Just don’t get te deseo and te quiero mixed up. When you want to tell someone “I want you” in a lustful, sexual way use te deseo. When you want to tell them “I love you” use te quiero instead.
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