Answer to Chinese Terms of Endearment: Who Is Your “爱人(àiren)”?

Answer: A
In Chinese, “爱(ài)” means “love” and “人(rén)” means “person/people,” so “爱人(àiren)” literally means “the person you love.” However, the term can’t be used to refer to every person that you love: not your girlfriend, not your boyfriend, and not your lover. The term is reserved only for your husband or wife.
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13 thoughts on “Answer to Chinese Terms of Endearment: Who Is Your “爱人(àiren)”?”

  1. How did 爱人 come to mean “lover” in mainland China? This sounds very strange to overseas Chinese. I doubt that this meant spouse before the communist revolution.

  2. Urvi Sanghvi

    Yes, you are right that ”爱” means love and “人” means person. If, we put these two words together it means airen and its mean husband or wife.
    I really appreciate the way you have explained.

  3. I don’t understand because, when I was on China, a Chinese women told me it sas notre the right word whenI used itv to speak about my husband.

  4. Margaret Mollohan

    This so called ai-ren is referred as “husband and wife” under communist took over the China. But in general should be boyfriend or girlfriend; which means the person who you loved dearly. And also you can mean that love everyone.

    1. jennifer.zhu

      Hi Margaret. In China, people always use the term “爱人” refers to “husband or wife” , not only under communism. People will say “我的男朋友(wǒde nán péngyou) My boyfriend” or “我的女朋友(wǒde nǚ péngyou) My girlfriend” before they get married.

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