temer vs. tener miedo (de)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by hsmchica, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. hsmchica New Member

    United States-English
    ¿Cuándo usted utiliza tener miedo (de) en vez de temer para expresar miedo?
  2. michin

    michin Senior Member

    Temer y tener miedo tienen el mismo significado, aunque se podría decir que temer es más "elegante" que "tener miedo".
    Por ej:
    Temo al coche
    Tengo miedo al coche
    Ambas oraciones significan lo mismo. Sin embargo, temer tiene otro significado, como "sospechar o creer". Por ej: Temo que lo que está diciendo sea una mentira (es decir, sospecho que lo que está diciendo sea mentira).
  3. scorpio1984 Senior Member

    catalan and spanish
    I was wondering how I can express these two different meaning in English, because the dictionary says the same translation for both meaning, and I need to know how I can express this difference in English, because if I say "I'm afraid ..." I don't know which of these two meanings the english person will understand. I will give you two examples:

    -Me temo que no vendrá ( = creo que no vendrá)
    -Tengo miedo de que se olvide de mi cumpleaños (me da miedo que eso pase)

    thank you
  4. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    If you wanted to avoid any possible ambiguity in your translation of the first sentence, you could say something along the lines of: "I have a feeling (that) he won't come", or "I think that he might not come". However, it would be perfectly normal to translate it as, "I'm afraid (that) he might not come/won't come". It is generally the surrounding context which makes the intended meaning clear.

    The second sentence could be translated using "I'm frightened that/worried that/afraid that... ", but again, I think we depend largely on context for the overall meaning!

    I'm sorry - that is not very useful, is it!
  5. scorpio1984 Senior Member

    catalan and spanish
    yes, it is useful, don't worry! by the way, can't I say "I have THE feeling that...." instead of "I have A feeling that ...."? I have always said so and I thought it was right.... :p thank you
  6. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    I think that both are ok - you've got me wondering about my own English now! :D
  7. scorpio1984 Senior Member

    catalan and spanish
    many thanks :)

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