Once, I said to my teacher in the class that "Teacher I really love you." the way of teaching were so good and understandable but Whole class looked at me in such a way it really shocked me.

So the question is am I supposed to love or respect teacher?

  • 2
    How you 'should' feel about your teacher is not a language question. However, saying that you love someone whose relationship with you is part of their job could be seen as embarrassingly personal. It would have been better to say something like "I think you are a great teacher". Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 18:28
  • @KateBunting My niece is a teacher of small children, and she told me they do sometimes say they love her, and she is touched and pleased. They also sometimes call her 'Mummy' by mistake, and take her hand. Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 18:44
  • 1
    @MichaelHarvey - So was my mother - but I assume the OP is not in primary school! Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 18:46
  • @KateBunting - no, probably a little older, and in need of a synonym for 'admire'. Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 19:43
  • 1
    According to the consesus on this page, in English-dominated cultures the usage of "love" in the described context is recognized as inappropriate, and advised to be avoided. Age does not have a role in it and does not modify the conclusion.
    – Levente
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


While in Islamic cultures there appears to be a relevant concept, plenty of feedback in this thread demonstrates that in English-speaking and other western-like cultures "love" in the described context is not well understood, and would create confusion; thus it's to be avoided.

"Respect" of course is totally understood and relevant and appropriate.

But perhaps you are looking for these expressions:

  • grateful
  • thankful
  • appreciating, appreciative

All these involve not the teacher themselves, rather what the teacher did, or contributed. For example:

I am grateful / thankful for the teacher's

  • efforts
  • devotion to their craft
  • selfless sacrifices for the students' development

"Love" is a word with a wide range of meanings in English. Which sense is understood from the words you use and the context.

Here you said "I really love you". By saying "really" you make the sense stronger. And you said "you" (not "how you teach"). So the context you gave means that the sentence seems to mean:

I have a strong, possibly romantic affection for you.

And that is a very odd thing to say to a teacher!

It is also odd to address your teacher as "Teacher". That is not done in English. Either use their name (eg Mr. Smith) or "sir" or "ma'am".

  • Surprise: in the context of Islam, there is a thing that OP seems to talk about: it's expressed as "I love you for the sake of Allah". See here and here. I came across this fact through a second-hand interpreter, or educator, might have been Osho, and from that second-hand interpretation I have arrived to the conclusion that this translates to expressing an utmost respect for someone's dedication to their craft or values or way of life.
    – Levente
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 22:50
  • I am not sure, but very much sure someone will share great understanding. The word ma'am looks like derived from Mam/Mama/Mummy/Mom.
    – Nadeem Taj
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 14:35
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    @NadeemTaj Unfortunately, that is a "false etymology". Ma'am is a shortening of madam, which comes from the French "ma dame", meaning "my lady".
    – stangdon
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 15:53
  • 2
    @Levente, perhaps, I'm no Islamic scholar. But I think that is irrelevant. Firstly I don't like to assume based only on the username what the person's religion is, as there is no mention of "for the sake of Allah" in the question. There is a notion of "love" in the bible, as a translation of "agape" but when you say "I really love you" it sounds more like "eros" to native speaker. However the OP wants to say "philia", English doesn't have the words to give these shades of meaning, and so saying "I love you, teacher" should be avoided.
    – James K
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 17:52
  • @JamesK I also have arrived to your final conclusion.
    – Levente
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 17:55

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