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I’m afraid - definition and synonyms

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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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phrase spoken
  1. used for politely telling someone something that might make them sad, disappointed, or angry, for example when you cannot do what they want or do not agree with them

    Things haven’t been going very well here, I’m afraid.

    I’m afraid (that):

    I’m afraid that I can’t accept this job.

    I’m afraid to say (that):

    I’m afraid to say I found the book very dull.

    I’m afraid so:

    Did he forget to do it?’ ‘I’m afraid so.’

    I’m afraid not:

    ‘Will John be there?’ ‘I’m afraid not.’

See also main entry: afraid


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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