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I want to know which one of these sentences mean loving someone the most, more than anybody else, loving someone more than the rest of the world.

It has to be the person someone loves more than any other person.

It's not a translation request (I already know the meaning of each sentence). I need Japanese people (born in Japan) to tell me which ones of these sentences mean loving someone more than the rest of the people in Japanese (as there can be subleties that the english translation may not cover).

  1. 一番愛している : The person I love the most

  2. 愛してる: I love you (inconditional love that lasts forever)

  3. 私は何よりもあなたを愛しています: I love you more than anything else

  4. 誰よりも愛している: I love you more than anyone

Rephrasing my question, which ones mean: 1) I love you very very much but I can love someone more than you; and which ones mean 2) I love you more than anybody else in the world. I'm dividing love into these 2 categories.

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Semantically, i.e. in a strictly logical sense, the sentences can be sorted as such:

I love you very much, but I can love someone more than you

  • 愛してる
  • 私は何よりもあなたを愛しています (because 何より does not include 誰より)

I love you more than anybody else in the world

  • 一番愛している
  • 誰よりも愛している

Pretty straightforward. No surprises here.


Pragmatically, on the other hand, is where they start to diverge from their English counterparts. Among the four options, a simple 愛してる is perhaps the best choice to convey a sincere feeling that you love the person more than anybody else.

  • 私は何よりもあなたを愛しています … Seems like a desperate attempt to salvage the relationship after being accused of prioritizing other things, like hobbies or work.

  • 一番愛している / 誰よりも愛している … Strangely specific or superlative, and is likely to arouse suspicion (“二番目は誰なの?”, “ほかに誰がいるの?”)

I think superlatives are best avoided when saying 愛してる in Japanese, especially when in comparison to other things/people. It already carries so much more weight than the English love. You normally would not say 愛してる to your close family and friends, and some people would never even say it to a romantic partner.

In English, you can love many things, like a book, cake, or math teacher. So being #1 among all those things is something to note. In Japanese, 大好き applies to many things, but 愛してる is pretty rare. I “love” many things in the English sense, but I can only think of one or two things/people that I 愛してる.

It is more effective to describe how much you 愛してる the person, like:

  • ものすごく愛してる
  • 気が狂うほど愛してる

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