I’m afraid - definition and synonyms

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