afraid <for><of>

kazuhiko fudaba

Senior Member
Japanese
In the article of The Washington Post: Americans increasingly see climate change as a crisis, there are sentences as follow.

"I am deathly afraid, not for my kids, but for my kids' kids and what they will have to deal with,"
said Mechaella DeRicci, 50, a resperatory care practitioner in Bristol, Conn.

Question) I think the sentence shown above by the bold letters should be written as follows.

I am deathly afraid, not of my kids, but of my kids' kids and of what they will have to deal with.
Am I right?

Thank you.
Kazu Fudaba
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    No, that completely changes the meaning. The original means that she worries about her kids and her kids' kids. Your version says her kids make her feel afraid, like monsters or ghosts.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Who or what you’re afraid of
    This means the source of your fear — as in being afraid of spiders or afraid of the dark.

    Who or what you’re afraid for
    This means whoever or whatever you fear would be at risk if a certain thing happened — as in being afraid for [the safety of] your children when they go on theme park rides.
     

    kazuhiko fudaba

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you. I really understand it.
    One additional question: before the sentence "what they will have to deal with", is the word "for" necessary like
    for what they will have to deal with?

    Thank you in advance.
    Kazu Fudaba
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No. You can’t be afraid for a problem that your grandchildren will have to deal with; you can only be afraid for your grandchildren – because of that looming problem.

    I am deathly afraid, not for my kids, but for my kids' kids and what they will have to deal with
    =
    I am deathly afraid, not for {my kids}, but for {my kids' kids and what they will have to deal with}
     

    kazuhiko fudaba

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I think the phrase "my kids' kids and what they (=my kids' kids) will have to deal with" is a noun phrase after the preposition "for", isn't it?

    I'm sorry I'm too importunate.

    Kazu Fudaba
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s a noun phrase (my kids’ kids) to which is joined (by the conjunction and) – by way of further information – a noun clause with its own subject and verb, “what[ever] they will have to deal with”.

    There’s not a lot of point in bending over backwards to explain the construction, since it’s not exactly a standard one.
     
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