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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #112519: I'm afraid ...
I'm afraid ...
1) Expressing a FEAR : I'm afraid (+ OF)...
* I'm afraid of + noun = I'm scared of something.
- I'm not afraid of spiders, but I'm afraid of heights.
* I'm afraid of + V + ing = an event which may happen involontarily, when you have no action on what you're afraid of.
- I'm afraid of falling and breaking a leg when I go skiing...
* In other cases, AFRAID TO, may be used when you can choose to do the dreaded action, or not! Sometimes, you may even be tempted to do it...
- I'm afraid to tell him what I think about his attitude... I don't know how he will react...
- I'm afraid to dive from the deep end of the swimming pool, yet I know I can do it...
* to be afraid for: to worry for someone.
- When I consider the conditions of the job market, I'm quite afraid for my kids, though they are qualified...
* to be afraid that + a clause is used to express a regret. "Is it raining?" "I'm afraid it is." = I'm sorry it's raining...
In this case, the subordinate clause may be replaced by « so » in the affirmative form and by « not » in the negative form.
- Is it raining? I'm afraid so.
- Is the weather nice? I'm afraid not.
: * to be afraid can also mean "to be sorry".
- I'm afraid I can't understand what you mean... = I'm awfully sorry but...
2) AFRAID may be replaced by adjectives : to be scared of; frightened of/by, terrified (= stronger), petrified (is much stronger!)(scared stiff – scared to death) and by many nouns : fear, scare, fright, terror...
3) - “To be afraid”, “to fear”, to frighten = express FEAR. The verbs used to express fear in clauses are often used with a modal auxiliary.
- I fear he might not be able to do it alone. (possible event)
- I'm afraid he shouldn't smoke here. (disapproval)
The conjunction “lest” is very formal and followed by a modal auxiliary too:
- I won't tell him this, lest he should take it badly...
Two expressions :
· For fear of =
· Never fear! = Don't be frightened!
That was easy, wasn't it? I do hope you won't be afraid to face the test and will succeed in it. Good luck!
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