In Arabic there is a one-word verb that approximately means "being with someone and not letting them be alone". It could be used in phrases like:

"يؤنس وحدتي "

"أنت تؤنسني"

"يؤنس وحشتي"

It is used in Arabic when someone is feeling lonely and you make them feel not so lonely anymore and make them feel safe .. it could be used in a romantic way..

The verb in Arabic is "يؤنس", it is transitive and usually takes 'loneliness'/'solitude' as an object.

Is there a transitive verb in English that has the same meaning?

Could it be that English speakers don't have this feeling because there is no equivalent/accurate translation?!

  • Nearly , It's forbidden to write in a un-english language . Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 3:37
  • Does it need to be more detailed than a word like join or accompany? Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 5:37
  • Chaperone maybe - merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chaperone
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 8:09
  • 1
    You probably mean English, the language, not english, the spin of a ball in billiards.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 8:47
  • 2
    It would be helpful if you could tell us what those Arabic phrases mean. That way, we might be able to guess how the word is used, and from there think of how a corresponding phrase would be worded in English. Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 8:50

4 Answers 4


I understand you totally seeing that my mother tongue is Arabic, the word in Arabic has a meaning of human-to-human connection. for example, if you haven't seen someone for a long time you could say that to him, the correct literal translation would be something like 'humanize' even though that wouldn't make sense mainly because that in the English language they don't use it in such way, they don't have that kind of use for the word and they don't use it in the manner we Arabs do.. In Libya people call the bedside lamp وناسة because it's always there at night protecting, humanizing and looking out for them as if it was some kind of angel, impersonating the role of a human so to speak. Every language is different and this particular word is very unique and there are plenty of words in Arabic which I would strongly argue are not present in the English Language.. not in saying the English language is not as strong or profound.. no, but merely saying that every Language has a specific structure that pertains to a specific culture and environment so that is what in essence makes it unique from one another.. I would be immensely surprised if you do find an equivalent.. but also pleased if you do so you could share it with us :)

  • Finally someone who feels the difference! It is astonishing that the words/language we use define the limits of our feelings! Thanks
    – ielyamani
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 16:40

If they were sick, you could nurse them; if they were children, you could mind or simply watch them. In a bit of a stretch, you might perhaps be able to comfort or guard someone. If you don’t mind phrasal verbs — and you shouldn’t — then you could watch over or look after someone easily enough.

But I get the idea that you mean something more like babysit them, or the neologism eldersit. Then again, those have implications of age or the condition of the person in whose custodial care you would be, and I don’t know that is what you would want.

Most other verbs that could work there are not transitive, instead taking a preposition whose object is that person. So you could take care of someone, or tend to someone.

  • I am sorry no, not in that sense.. it is used in Arabic when someone is feeling lonely and you make them feel not lonely anymore and make them feel safe, .. it could be used in a romantic way..
    – ielyamani
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 10:06

You may looking for words like these :




  • No, I am afraid none of the above is an accurate translation.. "To keep someone company" is closer, but it's not the same
    – ielyamani
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 4:09
  • Those look like nouns, not verbs.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 4:57
  • No it is a verb, in the present tense it is: يؤنس
    – ielyamani
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 9:57
  • @Carpsen90 Then , Does my answer seem good to you ? Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 10:58
  • No sorry, it's not the same meaning/feeling.. Your name is arabic, I suppose you know the difference
    – ielyamani
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 11:04

If I have interpreted correctly your definition, an expression such as affinity could come close to the Arabic equivalent as in to have a special affinity

  • affinity a feeling of closeness and understanding that someone has for another person because of their similar qualities, ideas, or interests

You could express the idea of no longer being alone, of ending one's solitude, feeling protected and safe, with a metaphor

We sought and found shelter in each another
I found (my) haven with [name]
He/she is my anchor/ harbour / sanctuary

  • It is more like how YOU feel when someone keeps you company.. and it's not necessarily used in a romantic way, so I wouldn't say it is like "having an affinity for someone".. it is a very fine detail in Arabic, it feels different when I try to put it in english words.. I have given up on trying to find equivalent words.. I just feel it.. and I wonder if there are things to be felt that I haven't felt yet
    – ielyamani
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 21:15
  • @Carpsen90 I believe that we all feel safe and protected when we are loved, and that love needn't be sexual or romantic. It could just be one of close friendship, a friend whom you trust deeply. Is that any closer?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 21:22
  • I am so so sorry, but it's not the same meaning.. @Keffiyeh and Madeleine Feller came close the the feeling.. Anyway, thank you for your help :)
    – ielyamani
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 21:49

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