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There's a word in Spanish, enamorar which means "to make (someone) fall in love". What's the English equivalent?

Example sentence:

He was the only man she wanted to __.

  • Making someone fall in love seems contradictory. – AmE speaker Feb 9 '17 at 13:33
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    Why? That's what my wife did to me many decades ago, and it's still working ;-) – user218421 Feb 9 '17 at 13:38
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    Ah, we English speakers have relatively few words for the many aspects of love; Greek would probably be better! However, "enrapture" might do in the context you're thinking of. – Charl E Feb 9 '17 at 13:39
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    In English, it might be more customary to target the heart instead of the whole man: … His was the only heart she wanted to win//capture/steal//conquer. – Papa Poule Feb 9 '17 at 15:57
  • I'm trying to pin down what you're looking for. Do you mean something stronger than attract, perhaps like seduce but without the negative aspect? ¿Me puedes escribir una frase completa en castellano que ilustre bien el sentido que buscas? I ask because the ____ in your English doesn’t completely clarify what you are looking for. – tchrist Feb 9 '17 at 16:00
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Here I find "to enamour", phonetically as well as etymologically very close to "enamorar", but I must admit it's the first time I see the verb suggested or used as a transitive.

On the other hand even in Spanish as far as I know "estar enamorado/a de alguien" or "enamorarse de alguien" are way more frequent then "enamorar a alguien (de alguien)"

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    I agree with your hunch about the relative frequency of the transitive version of the Spanish verb compared with the reflexive one, although I haven't run many corpora checks yet. The DRAE entry has the two transitive sense before the two intransitive ones, which might be an indication of the order in which those sense entered the language, and might explain why using it transitively ‘feels’ a bit unusual or old-fashioned to me. – tchrist Feb 9 '17 at 15:29
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    Yeah ok, the transitive use is definitely rare in Spanish. I did find an illustrative Quevedo quote from his 1699 work Epítome a la historia de la vida ejemplar y gloriosa muerte del bienaventurado fray Tomás de Villanueva, which runs: «Su madre, en lugar de las voces mal formadas con que los niños se regalan ó piden alimento, le enseñó á decir María, nombre que desde los labios le enamoró de suerte el corazon, que no gorjeaba con otra palabra.» And no, we don’t write like that anymore. :) See the entire passage for many other archaisms, like Negocióle. – tchrist Feb 9 '17 at 15:55
  • ¡Muchísimas gracias por los enlaces! ;) The DRAE looks full of precious resources and I hadn't ever run into it yet. – user218421 Feb 9 '17 at 16:48
  • +1 I believe enamo(u)r is mainly a transitive verb, now chiefly used in the passive (e.g. enamored of) but still available to use in the OP's sense. You could probably add a definition to this effect. Here's Merriam-Webster's, for example. – 1006a Feb 9 '17 at 18:12
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You could say

He was the only man she wanted to charm.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/charm

Example from oxforddictionaries.com:

‘he charmed her into going out’

1

You could use to romance

As a transitive verb it means

to try to influence or curry favor with especially by lavishing personal attention, gifts, or flattery

Here are a couple examples from Merriam-Webster:

He was always romancing younger women.

She was romanced by several wealthy young men.

0

The word "woo" means "try to gain the love of someone (typically a woman), especially with a view to marriage.". The verb of "court" can also mean this.

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    Your answer is good but could be improved by adding references, such as links to a dictionary. – vpn Feb 9 '17 at 17:18
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https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-thesaurus/fall-in-love-with-someone_1

He was the only man she wanted to fall for her.

  • It doesn't seem to be what alex is looking for: to fall in love with someone is different from making someone fall in love with someone else. The former is spontaneous and natural whereas the latter requires plenty of subtle arts or even the intervention of a witch. – user218421 Feb 9 '17 at 14:33
  • I agree that his does not answer the question asked. I also note that your example sentence is not even one that demonstrates the one you appear to link to. – tchrist Feb 9 '17 at 15:30

protected by tchrist Feb 9 '17 at 15:22

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