I am Indian, not a native English speaker.

I can't figure out the English expression. We Indians use दिल लगाना literal translation 'to attach heart' which implies to be in love with someone in Hindi. Please help me to understand this or provide other English expressions that implies to be in love

For example:

He has attached his heart to her, now he cannot live without her because he loves her so much

  • 4
    Well, it fits the meaning, but it is a little unusual. We are more likely to say that you give your heart to someone.
    – Mick
    Dec 7, 2017 at 5:43
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    I think if it weren't in the present perfect, "He attached his heart to her," sounds rather poetic. Dec 7, 2017 at 5:45
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    If you want to be poetic about attaching something, have a look at entwined
    – mplungjan
    Dec 7, 2017 at 6:13
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    @joiedevivre I don't know. "He attached his heart to her" sounds to me more surgical than romantic. I prefer mplugjan's more natural "their hearts were entwined".
    – Andrew
    Dec 7, 2017 at 7:07
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    @Andrew I would argue that good poetry is more likely to use surprising language than more natural-sounding language, although entwined is a nice word, too! You also have a point about the potential surgical nature of it. I could certainly see it going the way of I Hold Your Hand in Mine (lyricsfreak.com/t/tom+lehrer/…). Dec 7, 2017 at 16:20

7 Answers 7


दिल लगाना has nothing to do with love! Rather, you can consider that as मन बहलाना.

The meaning of this phrase in Hindi changes according to the usage of it in a sentence. Study this:

उसका वहा पे दिल नही लगता| (Literal translation: her heart is not attached/involved there) - She's not happy there!

So, yes, in a way, you attach your heart with something or someone you like. But it is not always love.

If you want to talk about the intensity of love, there are many ways. One such way is:

He loves her so deeply that he cannot live without her.

For non-native speakers of Hindi, we have this idiom to talk about one's heart being happy doing something or being with someone. That something/one could be animate or inanimate object. दिल (pronounced: dee-l) means heart, and लगाना (pronounced: la-gaa-naa) means attached. Together they translate: heart attached/involved.

  • 4
    If the correct answer to the question is to explain something about the Hindi language, shouldn't the question be migrated to the Hindi Language Stack? (Which, unfortunately, doesn't exist)
    – The Photon
    Dec 7, 2017 at 6:09
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    @ThePhoton yes, it should be migrated but there's no Hindi Stack. BUT I have seen a dozen questions asking for English expression translating Chinese here! And, they get upvotes too! And, we have separate Chinese Stack as well!
    – Maulik V
    Dec 7, 2017 at 6:26
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    @MaulikV I agree the question itself is fine, but I don't approve your answer which focuses as much on the use of the Hindi phrase as on the various ways to express this in English. A good answer should start with an accurate translation, and then add natural-sounding English variations.
    – Andrew
    Dec 7, 2017 at 7:05
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    @Andrew the OP should be informed first that the expression what she writes does not mean what she thinks! That's how the answer should be overcoming the misunderstanding. It's okay for your disapproval! :)
    – Maulik V
    Dec 7, 2017 at 7:07
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    I like your answer, Maulik, but I agree with Colleen. As a non-Hindi speaker, I find it interesting when say that the phrase has many meanings based on its usage -- maybe you can give some examples? Eg "if you use like like this, which has a literal translation of that, then the appropriate idiom/phrase in English is something. But if you use it some other way..." Dec 7, 2017 at 14:47

That isn't an idiomatic expression in English, but it's not weird, and the meaning is quite clear. In fact, it's rather pretty.

The closest idiomatic expression in English might be "He had his heart set on her." But you could use that in contexts where you weren't in love. For example, "he had his heart set on the prize" would mean getting the prize was very important to him.

I like your expression better.

  • 1
    Can you say He had lost his heart to her in this context? Dec 7, 2017 at 13:42
  • @JeppeStigNielsen Yes, that's certainly another valid expression, and nicer-sounding than "set his heart on her!" You would leave out "had" though (not use past perfect), unless you were comparing two past events. For example, "she fell in love with him in 2010, but he had lost his heart to her long before then." Dec 7, 2017 at 16:29

The most similar English idiom to your provided one would be:

He has given her his heart

Similarly you can say "his heart belongs to her."

Here's some more soppy romance stuff:

  • she stole his heart
  • he has given himself to her
  • his heart is no longer his [to command]


  • 3
    Or just "she stole my heart".
    – BradC
    Dec 7, 2017 at 17:54

If the question is about idiomatic expressions of love, any of the following would be candidates:

  • She is the apple of his eye.
  • She is head over heels about him.
  • He takes her breath away.
  • He fancies her.
  • He has eyes only for her.
  • She is smitten by him.
  • They are going steady.
  • They are a match made in heaven.
  • etc.

To say, "he attached his heart to her," isn't specifically known as an idiomatic expression of love, but it would generally work since it doesn't idiomatically refer to anything other specific thing.


The closest that I can think of is to find a way into someone's heart.


When he proposed to her the first time, he got rejected. But he didn't give up and later was able to finally find a way into her heart and make her love him.


A common way to express a similar sentiment in English would be:

She stole my heart, I cannot live without her.


To catch is more common than attach in that context, a catch is also the hook on a door. You can catch someone's eye, and catch someone's fancy, and yet hearts are rarely caught. They are bewitched, charmed, stolen, put under a spell.

There are other very useful words other than attach, Snag and Hitch laced up, captured, bridled, and you may use litterary licence and use a new combination of word which pleases you and coin a new term. Ensnared is a gothic way of saying it, and laced up is a figurative one.

In french they also say accroche-coeur very often and coup-de-coeur.

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