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Enclosed vs. Attached: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 11, 2024
Enclosed refers to something placed inside or within boundaries. Attached refers to something connected or joined to something else.

Key Differences

Enclosed typically refers to something that is contained within a space or envelope, often implying a sense of being surrounded or covered. Attached, however, denotes something that is joined, connected, or affixed to another item, suggesting a physical or symbolic linkage.
When using "enclosed" in communication, it implies including items within a package or letter. "Attached", in contrast, is used to describe something appended to an email or physically affixed to another object.
Enclosed spaces are often about containment and separation from other areas, like an enclosed garden. On the other hand, attached items are part of a larger whole, like a house with an attached garage.
Enclosed can also suggest privacy or protection, as in an enclosed cabin. Attached suggests dependency or association, as in being emotionally attached to someone.
In legal and official contexts, enclosed might refer to documents included in a physical mail, whereas attached refers to documents appended to an email or another document.

Comparison Chart

Physical Context

Inside or within a space or boundaries
Joined or connected to something

Communication Usage

Items included within a package or letter
Appended to an email or document

Spatial Relation

Separated from other areas
Part of a larger whole


Suggests privacy, protection
Suggests dependency, association

Official Context

Documents included in physical mail
Documents appended in digital format

Enclosed and Attached Definitions


Confined in a space.
The birds were enclosed in a cage.


Emotionally connected.
She is very attached to her grandparents.


Contained or held within.
The enclosed area was used for storage.


Joined to something.
A garage attached to the house.


Included within something.
Please find the document enclosed in this letter.


Being part of a larger entity.
The island is attached to the mainland by a bridge.


Surrounded by walls or barriers.
They sat in an enclosed porch.


Accompanied by.
I attached a photo to the email.


Sealed off from external elements.
The enclosed package arrived safely.


Affixed or appended to something else.
The document was attached to the application.


To surround on all sides; close in
A valley that is enclosed by rugged peaks.


(Architecture) Joined to or by a wall, especially by sharing a wall with another building; not freestanding
A block of attached houses.


Can "attached" be used for emotional connections?

Yes, it can describe emotional bonds or connections.

What does "enclosed" mean in a letter?

It means something is included within the letter or package.

Is "enclosed" only used for physical spaces?

Primarily, but it can also imply containment in abstract senses.

Can "attached" imply dependence?

Yes, in emotional or relational contexts.

Is "attached" appropriate for describing relationships?

Yes, especially for describing strong emotional bonds.

Does "enclosed" imply security?

It can, especially in contexts where it refers to being surrounded or protected.

Can "enclosed" be used in digital communication?

It's less common but can be used to mean something included within a digital message.

What's the difference in use between "enclosed" and "attached" in emails?

"Enclosed" is less common; "attached" is the standard term for including files.

Is "attached" used in legal contexts?

Yes, especially to refer to documents that are appended to others.

Is "attached" used in architecture?

Yes, to describe structures that are connected to each other.

Can "enclosed" be used for areas without a roof?

Yes, if they are surrounded by walls or fences.

Does "attached" always mean physically connected?

Not always; it can also refer to digital attachments or emotional connections.

Can "enclosed" refer to a feeling of being trapped?

In a metaphorical sense, yes, it can imply being confined.

What does "please find enclosed" mean?

It's a formal way of saying something is included within a letter or package.

Can "attached" describe a file in a computer context?

Yes, it's commonly used to describe files added to emails.

Does "enclosed" have a similar meaning to "included"?

Yes, in many contexts, they can be used interchangeably.

Does "attached" imply a permanent connection?

Not necessarily; it can be temporary or permanent.

Is "enclosed" used in formal communication?

Yes, particularly in business or legal letters.

Is "enclosed" appropriate for describing feelings?

Less common, but it can be used metaphorically to describe feelings of confinement.

Can "attached" refer to a physical addition to a building?

Yes, like an attached garage or wing.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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