Imagine you are enjoying a romantic dinner, or a barefoot walk along the beach at sunset with your Italian boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s been nearly a year since you first got together, and with each passing day, your feelings for each other have grown stronger than you ever imagined.
Suddenly, your other half says those words you’ve been longing to hear: Ti amo! (I love you!) And because you feel the same way, the only response you could possible give is:
Ti amo anch’io!
I love you too!
This phrase is made up of four parts, with anche and io forming the contraction anch’io (literally ‘me too‘).
Ti ( you ) + amo ( first person present indicative of ‘amare‘ = to love ) + anche ( also ) + io ( I ).
It is also possible to move anch’io to the beginning of the phrase – Anch’io ti amo!
As we discussed in our dedicated article, ti amo is only ever used towards a person with whom you are in a committed relationship. This may be your husband, wife, longterm partner or even someone you’ve only been seeing for a short time but have intense feelings for. (But do be sure that they feel the same way before dropping the “love bomb” on them! 😉 )
Below is a dubbed scene from the romantic historical movie Brooklyn where the protagonist Ellis Lacey (played by the brilliant Saoirse Ronan) confesses her love for Italian-American Tony Fiorello. You can hear the phrase anch’io ti amo 30 seconds into the clip.
If you want to say I love you too! to a child, friend, relative or anyone else with whom you have a platonic relationship, it is necessary to use a completely different expression which is: Ti voglio bene anch’io! or alternatively Anch’io ti voglio bene! (literally ‘I want you good’).
Ti ( you ) + voglio ( first person present indicative of ‘volere‘ = to want ) + bene ( well, good ) + anche ( also ) + io ( I ).
Although ti voglio bene anch’io can be used with a lover, it is less intense than ti amo and is free of any sexual or romantic undertones.