'I Afraid' or 'I Am Afraid'? Which One Is Correct? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 24 March 2024)

'I Afraid' or 'I Am Afraid'?

Part 6

I Afraid or I Am Afraid: Which One Is Correct?

Using afraid as a verb is one of the most common mistakes made by learners of English. Afraid is not a verb but an adjective:

We afraid of cockroaches.
We are afraid of cockroaches.

He does not afraid of anything.
He is not afraid of anything.

Do you afraid of the dark?
Are you afraid of the dark?

I afraid that you will miss the flight.
I am afraid that you will miss the flight.

There is no need to afraid.
There is no need to be afraid.

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Also by Spencer Lam

Part 1: Should We Say 'A Tiger', 'The Tiger', or 'Tigers'?
Part 2: 'Relax' or 'Relax Oneself'?
Part 3: 'Exchange Program' or 'Exchanging Program'?
Part 4: 'Yours sincerely' or 'Yours faithfully'?
Part 5: Should We Say 'Take Bus', 'Take the Bus', or 'Take a Bus'?
Part 7: 'Date Someone' or 'Date with Someone'?
Part 8: A Missing Relative Pronoun
Part 9: Are 'Basketball', 'Football', and 'Badminton' Countable or Uncountable?
Part 10: 'Every Time' or 'Every Time When'?
Part 11: Should 'Mum' Be Capitalised? (Read this blog post for a more in-depth discussion of the topic.)
Part 12: 'Grammar' or 'Grammer'?

Examples from the Media

Horror writer Stephen King is afraid there's something awful under his bed. —Toronto Star (2019)

Whether you are afraid of being ripped off or just feel out of your depth in conversations with auto mechanics, taking your car in for maintenance can be stressful. —CNN (2022)

As your garden matures, don't be afraid to say a discerning goodbye to shrubs that become overgrown or decline in beauty or vigour. Otago Daily Times (2021)

The self-proclaimed queen of town renewal, regeneration, better transport and bus services, she is not afraid to discuss improvements that could be made on a street-by-street basis. The Guardian (2020)

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