being afraid of vs afraid of

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Senior Member
Simplified Chinese
"(being) Afraid of being cut off, they lost no time in turning back". . .'being afraid' or 'afraid'? which one is right or better? To me, it seems they both work; and I can't find out how they differ. Thanks in advance.
  • EStjarn

    Senior Member
    With the little context that we've got, my preference is for 'afraid'. To me 'being afraid' seems to connote a trait, not a temporary state. In the following case I'd use 'being': Being naturally shy, he went over to the other side of the road. In the topic text the fright is temporary and so I wouldn't use 'being'.

    EDIT: It depends on context. If you're telling a story, then I'd recommend 'afraid'. But if you're analyzing a sequence of events, explaining the reasons why the participants did what they did, then 'being afraid' could make sense too in spite of that the fright was temporary.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    American English
    Adjectives can be placed away from the noun they modify in a sort of absolute construction. In this case, the verb participle "being" is implied. It could be used, but that would not be as idiomatic.
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