The Meaning of “Daisuki” – Say “I Love (You)” in Japanese

The Meaning of Daisuki in Japanese - How to Say I Love You 大好き daisuki 大好きだよ daisuki da yo

I have noticed that there is a lot of confusion about the meaning of the Japanese worddaisuki” (大好き). Does it mean “love” or just “like“? In this detailed blog post, I’m going to tell you all you need to know about the Japanese meaning, English translations, and use of the word “daisuki“. Let’s start with a quick answer to what daisukimeans.

The Japanese word “daisuki” (大好き) means “love” or “like very much”. When said to a person it usually expresses romantic feelings towards them and has the same meaning as “I love you” in English. However, when used to talk about something it also translates as “I’m really into…” or “I really like…”.

Now that we have the quick answer let’s take a detailed look at what “daisuki” (大好き) means and how to use it in Japanese. You will find many example sentences and the explanation and translation of related phrases such as “Daisuki desu“, “Daisuki da yo“, and “Ichiban daisuki” and we will also cover the difference between “suki vs daisuki” and “aishiteru vs daisuki“.

The True Meaning of “Daisuki” in Japanese

When you look up “daisuki” (大好き) in a dictionary you will see that it translates into English as “loveable“, “very likable“, or “like very much” (source). However, its actual meaning in Japanese comes closer to the translations “loving something or someone” or “liking something or someone a lot“.

  • loveable, very likable, like very much, be very fond of
  • to love something or somone
  • to like something or someone a lot

If you break down the word you can see that “daisuki” (大好き) consists of the kanji 大 (dai) which means “big“, “large“, or “great“, and the word 好き (suki) which means “to like“. So literally you can think of it meaning “big like” or “great like” while in more natural English “daisuki” translates to “love” or “like a lot“.

I love you.

Kare ga daisuki.
I love him.

Sushi ga daisuki desu.
I love sushi.

Anime daisuki dayo.
I love anime!

I will cover the different more formal and more casual variations of “daisuki” down below, but in general, adding “desu” (です) makes the phrase sound more polite and more formal. Adding “da” (だ) or “dayo” (だよ) on the other hand makes the sentence sound more casual and way more emphatic.

Also, if you want to learn how to say “I like anime” in Japanese instead, please check out the other article I have just published the other day. It includes a lot of useful phrases and examples you can use to talk about anime with your Japanese friends.

How to Use “Daisuki” in Japanese – Common Phrases

You can use the Japanese word “daisuki” (大好き) to talk about someone or something you love. The word on its own already means “I love you (romantically)” or “I love it” but you can also directly state the person or thing by saying “ daisuki” (〇〇が大好き) which translates as “I love (person/thing)”.

I love you!
I love it!

Itachi-san ga daisuki desu.
I love Itachi (polite)

Sakkaa ga daisuki.
I love soccer.

It is also pretty common to drop the particle ga (が), especially in spoken Japanese. So the following phrases are also correct and have the same meaning but might sound a bit more casual (and more natural).

Itachi-san daisuki desu.
I love Itachi (polite)

Sakkaa daisuki.
I love soccer.

Daisuki” (大好き) can also be used in front of a noun to say things like “my favorite…” or “the … I love so much“. You just have to add na (な) after daisuki and use “daisuki na…” (大好きな〇〇).

Daisuki na bando.
My favorite band.

Daisuki na ramenya-san.
The Ramen shop I love so much.

Daisuki na iro wa aoi desu.
My favorite color is blue.

Daisuki Desu – “I Love You” or “I Love…” (formal)

Daisuki desu” (大好きです) has the same meaning as “Daisuki” (大好き) and means “I love you” or “I love (it)“, but it sounds more formal and more polite. When talking with a coworker or someone you don’t know so well about things you are into you or passionate about you should add the worddesu” (です).

Daisuki desu.
I love you.
I love it.

Nihon ga daisuki desu.
I love Japan.

Daisuki Da – “I Love You!” or “I Love…!” (empathic)

Daisuki da” (大好きだ) is the more emphatic and a more casual way to say “I love you!” or “I love (it)!” in Japanese. Adding da (だ) is like adding an exclamation mark to the end of your sentence. It is okay to use it when talking about something you love with friends or family members.

Daisuki da.
I love you!

Keeki ga daisuki da.
I love cake!

Daisuki Da Yo – “I Love You!!!” or “I Love…!!!” (very casual)

Daisuki da yo” (大好きだよ) is the most casual and informal way to say “I love you” or “I love (it)” in Japanese. While it can be used to confess your love it is less romantic thanAishiteru” (愛してる) and sounds less polite than “Daisuki desu” (大好きです). It’s like adding a bunch of exclamation marks.

Daisuki da yo.
I love you!!!
I love it!!!

Kono uta daisuki da yo.
I love this song!!!

Ichiban Daisuki – “Love the Most”, “All-Time Favorite…”

Ichiban daisuki” (一番大好き) means “favorite“, “love the most“, or “all-time favorite“. It is used to talk about one’s favorite person or things. You can say “…ga ichiban daisuki desu” (〇〇が一番大好きです) meaning “I love … the most” or “Ichiban daisuki na …” (一番大好きな〇〇) to say “My favorite …“.

Nihon ichiban daisuki desu.
I love Japan the most.

Ichiban daisuki na manga wa kore.
This is my favorite manga.

Bara wa ichiban daisuki na hana.
Roses are my favorite flowers.

Suki Suki Daisuki – “I Like You, I Like You, I Love You”

The song title “Suki Suki Daisuki” (好き好き大好き) translates as “I like you, I like you, I love you” in English. It’s a popular song from Jun Togawa released in 1985 on the same-named album “Suki Suki Daisuki”.

Suki suki daisuki
I like you, I like you, I love you

Daisuki vs Aishiteru – What’s the Difference?

Daisuki” (大好き) and “Aishiteru” (愛してる) both mean “I love you“, but the difference is that aishiteru is only used to say “I love you” to your significant other in a long-term relationship while daisuki can be used to confess your love to someone or to talk about something you are passionate about.

I love you (confess your love to a new partner)

I love you (permanent relationship)

If you want to know more about what “aishiteru” means in Japanese and why Japanese rarely say it, please check out my other blog post.

Daisuki vs Suki – What’s the Difference?

Suki (好き) means “I like” and daisuki (大好き) means “I love” or “I like a lot“. The difference is that “daisuki” is the stronger word and conveys deeper feelings for someone or more passion for something. However, sometimes “suki” is used as the first confession of one’s love and means “I love you“.

I love you
I like it a lot

I like you
I like it

You can also check out my other blog post “5 Ways to Say “I Like You” in Japanese (Suki vs Daisuki)” to understand the difference between these two words.

Examples of How to Use Daisuki in a Sentence

Kimi ga daisuki!
I love you (used for women)
きみ が だいすき。
Anata ga daisuki!
I love you (used for men)
あなた が だいすき。
Minna daisuki da yo!
I love you all! (casual)
みんな だいすき だよ。
Kono kyoku daisuki
I love this song.
この きょく だいすき。
Daisuki desu!
I love it!
だいすき です!
Watashi mo (anata no ko ga daisuki desu)
I love you, too
わたし も(あなた の こと が だいすき です)
Anime to manga ga daisuki
I love anime and manga
アニメ と マンガ が だいすき。
Nihon daisuki!
I love Japan!
にほん だいすき!
Nihon ryouri ga daisuki
I love Japanese food
にほんりょうり が だいすき。
Nihon no bunka ga daisuki da
I love Japanese culture
にほん の ぶんか が だいすき だ。
Nihongo no benkyou ga daisuki desu
I love studying Japanese
にほんご の べんきょう が だいすき です。
Utau no ga daisuki da yo!
I love singing!
うたう の が だいすき だよ。
Ichigo ga daisuki
I love strawberries
いちご が だいすき。
Anata to iru no ga daisuki desu
I love being with you
あなた と いる のが だいすき です。
Biiru daisuki da yo!
I love beer!
ビール が だいすき。
Example Sentences of How to Use Daisuki in a Sentence
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The Meaning Of “Daisuki” – Say “I Love (You)” In Japanese

Alex (RockinJapanese)

おはよう. I'm Alex. I have started studying Japanese when I was still a high school student and I have been living and working in Japan since 2015. I'm still learning new Japanese phrases and words every day and I thought that publishing them online will be useful for you, too. Hopefully, my study notes and free Japanese lessons will help you to reach the Japanese level you want to have! If you have any questions feel free to contact me anytime! Alex

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