afraid <I won't> <not to> be able...

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
Can I say in two ways?
I’m afraid that I won’t be able to to come to your birthday party.
I’m afraid not to be able to come to your birthday party.
Thanks.
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi,
    Can I say in two ways?
    I’m afraid that I won’t be able to to come to your birthday party.
    I’m afraid not to be able to come to your birthday party.
    Thanks.
    Hi Mimi. Your second sentence means that, for some reason, you're afraid to not be able to come to my birthday party. For example, this means that you're afraid that if you don't come, I might be insulted. Or maybe you're afraid that if you don't come, I might never invite you again. Do you see the difference?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    But if I wanted to say that, I would say "I'm afraid to miss the party." Mimi's sentence is way too long and not very natural-sounding.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi, Dimcl and elroy.
    "I am afraid to come to your birthday party because there are too many people and they are so noisy."
    I think this time I used "afraid to - infinitive" correctly.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Yes, but you need the future tense for the second part of the sentence, assuming the party has yet to take place.
     
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