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Thread: afraid of/to

  1. nyota's Avatar
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    #1

    afraid of/to

    Does saying "I'm not afraid of telling you how I feel" make sense when we think of the distinction between 'afraid of -ing' and 'afraid to do'?

    afraid of -ing - is used for things we do unintentionally, so how could one 'tell somebody something' unintentionally?

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    #2

    Re: afraid of/to

    Afraid to + infinitive
    Afraid of + gerund/noun

    You're afraid to do something because you're afraid of something happening

    edit: your example would also make sense using "I'm not afraid to tell you how I feel".

    It is quite possible to tell someone something unintentionally.
    Last edited by waflob; 08-Nov-2011 at 14:23.

  2. nyota's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: afraid of/to

    Quote Originally Posted by waflob View Post
    Afraid to + infinitive
    Afraid of + gerund/noun

    You're afraid to do something because you're afraid of something happening

    edit: your example would also make sense using "I'm not afraid to tell you how I feel".

    It is quite possible to tell someone something unintentionally.
    So, in the example, 'I'm afraid of telling you how I feel', I'm afraid of saying it *unintentionally*? (Since we use 'afraid of -ing' for things we do unintentionally)

    Also, the 'something bad may happen' seems to be quite confusing (I've also found the explanation in other sources) because in *both* cases something bad can happen.

    I'm afraid of telling you - because something bad may happen
    I'm afraid to tell you... - also because something bad may happen, you can tell me off, get angry with me etc.

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    #4

    Re: afraid of/to

    Here's an example that might illustrate the point.

    "My Granny is afraid to walk in the snow, because she's afraid of slipping"

  3. nyota's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: afraid of/to

    Quote Originally Posted by waflob View Post
    Here's an example that might illustrate the point.

    "My Granny is afraid to walk in the snow, because she's afraid of slipping"
    The thing is, I understand how it works in your sentence, but not so much in the sentence I have given.

    - 'My granny is afraid to walk in the snow, because she's afraid of slipping' = she doesn't want to/ she is reluctant to walk in the snow, she doesn't want to perform the action, because she can slip (the result/consequence).
    - She's afraid of slipping, which she wouldn't do intentionally (normally that is).

    I can't pin these so well on "I'm afraid of telling you/ to tell you what I feel about you"

    - I'm afraid to tell you what I fell about you. = I'm reluctant to do it, because the result could be bad.
    - I'm afraid of telling you what I feel about you. = ..... ?

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    #6

    Re: afraid of/to

    - I'm afraid to tell you what I feel about you. = I'm reluctant to do it, because the result could be bad.
    - I'm afraid of telling you what I feel about you. = ..... ? = I am afraid that I may unintentionally let this slip out.

    In both cases the consequences might be unfortunate.

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    #7

    Re: afraid of/to

    Nyota, I hope you don't mind me asking here. Your thread got me thinking about the difference. What about "I'm afraid of flying" (1) and "I'm afraid to fly" (2)? Are both fine in such contexts as:

    - She's terribly afraid of flying. She's got aerophobia.
    - If she's afraid to fly with CrazyAero, she's free to book from another airline.

  5. nyota's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: afraid of/to

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Nyota, I hope you don't mind me asking here. Your thread got me thinking about the difference. What about "I'm afraid of flying" (1) and "I'm afraid to fly" (2)? Are both fine in such contexts as:

    - She's terribly afraid of flying. She's got aerophobia.
    - If she's afraid to fly with CrazyAero, she's free to book from another airline.
    I don't mind at all Verona. I'd say they're fine, but some confirmation from pros would be nice.

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    #9

    Re: afraid of/to

    Not a teacher.
    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Nyota, I hope you don't mind me asking here. Your thread got me thinking about the difference. What about "I'm afraid of flying" (1) and "I'm afraid to fly" (2)? Are both fine in such contexts as:

    - She's terribly afraid of flying. She's got aerophobia.
    - If she's afraid to fly with CrazyAero, she's free to book from another airline.
    Sorry if this post isn't articulated very well; I just can't think of how to phrase this properly. I could be way off base with this too.

    With "she's afraid of flying," I get the feeling she is afraid of all scenarios in which she is flying. She is afraid to be on a plane while it is in the air. It seems somewhat more irrational, or that she's afraid of all situations in which she must fly.

    With "she's afraid to fly," it can be interpreted slightly differently. 1. She's afraid to physically fly (i.e. pilot) a plane, but fine if someone else does. 2. She's afraid of flying but is more able to accept it if she must.

    The first case seems more "intransitive" to me (can't control the fear no matter what,) the second seems more "transitive" (can control but does not like to.) These are terrible words to describe it, especially in a language forum. My apologies.

    Any others' thoughts on this?

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