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    Afraid of vs afraid to

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    Afraid of vs afraid to
    Message from nutmeg1906 posted on 20-11-2010 at 19:03:46 (D | E | F)
    Hello,
    The exercise on "afraid to vs afraid of" published in your site is quite interesting.
    The sentences used are the following:

    1. They were all afraid OF LOSING their jobs.
    2. He's afraid TO TELL his wife about it.
    3. Don't be afraid TO SAY what you think.
    4. I was afraid OF HURTING myself.
    5. She was afraid OF MAKING herself ill.
    6. I'm afraid TO JUMP from such a height.
    7. He's afraid OF LOSING his independence.

    The problem is that the rule (when to use "of" and when "to") is not clear to me.
    Can you please help me? Thank you!

    -------------------
    Edited by lucile83 on 20-11-2010 20:15




    Re: Afraid of vs afraid to from notrepere, posted on 21-11-2010 at 06:01:22 (D | E)
    Hello!

    In general, you use "afraid to + action verb" but honestly, there is little difference between the two in many cases.

    Here is what Swan's "Practical English Usage" says:


    afraid

    To talk about fear of things that happen accidentally, we prefer afraid of + -ing.

    I don't like to drive fast because I'm afraid of crashing.
    'Why are you so quiet?' 'I'm afraid of waking the children.'

    In other cases we can use afraid + -ing or afraid + infinitive with no difference in meaning.

    I'm not afraid of telling / to tell her the truth.


    In light of the first rule, #2, #3, and #6 are definitely action verbs, so the rule of using "afraid to + infinitive". However, in light of Swan's rules, #2 and #3 could have either answer. With #4, this is definitely an action verb, so either answer is definitely possible, but the meaning would be different.

    I would say that #6 falls into the category of either answer being possible.

    So, in short, I think the test is misleading because it suggests that there is only one possibility.

    1. They were all afraid OF LOSING their jobs.
    2. He's afraid TO TELL his wife about it.
    3. Don't be afraid TO SAY what you think.
    4. I was afraid OF HURTING myself.
    5. She was afraid OF MAKING herself ill.
    6. I'm afraid TO JUMP from such a height.
    7. He's afraid OF LOSING his independence.

    Here are some other pages that might interest you:

    Lien Internet

    Lien Internet

    Lien Internet





    Re: Afraid of vs afraid to from lucile83, posted on 21-11-2010 at 09:40:35 (D | E)
    Hello,

    Afraid of ...-ing is used when the following action may happen unintentionally.

    In other cases we may use afraid + to.

    Regards.



    Re: Afraid of vs afraid to from nutmeg1906, posted on 21-11-2010 at 12:02:48 (D | E)
    Thank you, you've been really helpful!



    Re: Afraid of vs afraid to from ariette, posted on 21-11-2010 at 17:37:11 (D | E)

    1. They were all afraid OF LOSING their jobs.
    2. He's afraid TO TELL his wife about it.
    3. Don't be afraid TO SAY what you think.
    4. I was afraid OF HURTING myself.
    5. She was afraid OF MAKING herself ill.
    6. I'm afraid TO JUMP from such a height.
    7. He's afraid OF LOSING his independence

    What we know about ING form and To INF may account for the difference

    ING form is a kind of validation of the Ďactioní and may be equivalent to a noun, nominal form (loss for losing, wound for hurting, etc), refers to an activity (known, already practised or repeated)

    Whereas

    TO INF is used when there is an aim, an intention; it is turned to the future, not Ďvalidatedí yet but could occur in the future. It refers to a particular occurrence.

    6.
    Iím not usually afraid of jumping
    But in this particular case (from such a height) Iím afraid to jump.

    3.
    Youíre not usually afraid of speaking in public, so
    Donít be afraid to say what you think today.

    I hope it is not too confusing!
    Does it help ?



    Re: Afraid of vs afraid to from nutmeg1906, posted on 27-11-2010 at 18:42:48 (D | E)
    Yes, Ariette, thank you!




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