I'm afraid to hear that

  • teksch

    Senior Member
    English - American
    You could say it but it has a different meaning. To say "I was afraid" is to say that you were fearful. To say that "I was sorry" is to say that you felt bad for the person.
     

    sepultado

    Senior Member
    English eeuu
    I was wondering whether you could also say I was afraid to hear that instead of I was sorry to hear that.
    I suppose in context you could. If it was something you feared might happen, and it ultimately did take place, you could be referring from a present context to how you felt in the past before the event.

    However, I wonder if you want to say "I was afraid of that," which is different.

    "I was sorry to hear that" could obviously refer to some tragedy or mishap, as if my pet died, and you would say, "I was sorry to hear that." However, if you knew my pet was in an accident and was in the hospital, and my pet then died, you might say, "I was afraid of that," but you probably wound NOT say, "I was afraid to hear that."
     

    tigerduck

    Senior Member
    German / Switzerland
    Thank you for your answer. I'm afraid to hear that was a sentence that one of my students used. I had the feeling that it would be wrong in the context he used it and thanks to your discussion I know it now for sure.

    Thank you very much for your contributions.
     

    coolbrowne

    Senior Member
    Português-BR/English-US bilingual
    I'm afraid ;) it wouldn't quite fit
    ...you could be referring from a present context to how you felt in the past before the event.
    That would require a wee bit more, say,
    I was afraid I was going to hear that
    Otherwise the sense of "I was in fear of hearing that" will prevail.

    Regards
     
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