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|English to English translations [PRO]|
Art/Literary - Linguistics
|English term or phrase: I am afraid|
|I want to learn the whole range of connotations of I am afraid from native speakers.|
Does it mean I apprehend or doubt and I regret as well.
Is it imperative to put *that* here:
I am afraid *that* I won't be able to help you
I am afraid *that* your question is irrelevant.
Any other information in respect of this phrase would be highly appreciated.
|I fear, apprehend, doubt, regret|
it is on line with a sentence beginning with 'sorry, but...'.
you cannot trake it literally, as you noted in your question : the person saying it is quite certain of his/her stance: I am afraid I can't help you really means Don't look for help from this quarter, mate!
It is what the French call une locution de politesse : it's a polite way of refusing the asker's wishes, for whatever reason. That reason follows I'm afraid : I'm afraid you can't take a camera into the stadium, ma'am - this means no camera, or you lose the price of admission!
Selected response from:
Local time: 07:27
|Thanks to all of you. I was really in a dilemma to choose an answerer. In fact, you all deserve to be rewarded for your great suggestions but I am sorry I am just unable to do so.|
Thanks again for your wonderful help.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
4 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +10
|i am afraid |
"that" is not necessary
Your sentences are just great the way they are. However, if you want to omit "that", there will be no problem.
For the first case you could also say:
"I am afraid (that) I might not be able to help you".