• I am not scared of you.
  • I am not feared of you.

Are both grammatical? Is there a difference in meaning between them?

  • Did you see these sentences written down or did you hear them? It's common in Scotland to use the word feared to mean afraid or scared exactly as in the second sentence but I think they actually say feart which is not really a dictionary word.
    – Frank
    Apr 22, 2014 at 11:51
  • Feared is past participle of fear. i know only that.
    – kuldeep
    Apr 22, 2014 at 12:03
  • That's why I asked if you'd heard the sentences, it would be easy for someone not familiar with Scottish accents to hear feart as feared .
    – Frank
    Apr 22, 2014 at 12:06
  • You should also note the word afraid. Like, "I'm afraid of you" (you scare me) and "I'm afraid about you" (I worry that you might be harmed)
    – SF.
    Jun 10, 2014 at 0:14

5 Answers 5


The verbs fear and scare reverse their object and subject, like the verbs learn and teach.

The fox scares the rabbit.
The rabbit fears the fox.
The rabbit is scared of the fox.
The fox is feared by the rabbit.

Using feared of to mean scared of is not standard English. However, some dialects use feared of to mean scared of:

I never was feared of Flint in my life, and by the powers, I'll face him dead.   —Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

This kind of reversal of subject and object is not uncommon in languages. For example, in some dialects learn can also mean teach:

Why, she tried to learn you your book, she tried to learn you your manners, she tried to be good to you every way she knowed how.   —Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

These uses of feared of and learn are not standard English. In fact, the verb fear is not used with the preposition of in standard English.

Note that in the dialects that use these non-standard forms, there is little chance of confusion with the standard meanings; the prepositions distinguish feared of and feared by, and learn means teach only when it has an indirect object.


Consider using "afraid" or the more formal "frightened" instead of "feared."

I'm not afraid of you.

I'm not frightened by you.

"frightened," unlike "afraid" and "scared," is not normally followed by of + pronoun.

Or, using the rather informal "scared":

I'm not scared of (sometimes by) you.


Simple answer: "I am not feared of you" simply cannot be used that way. Correct would be "I am not afraid of you", which would be (mostly) synonymous with "I am not scared of you".

  • 4
    There are some US regional dialects where afraid is pronounced as afeared, maybe that's what he's heard.
    – Barmar
    Apr 22, 2014 at 11:36

read the explanations given by others and remember these two sentences and it will clear your doubts:

I am scared of people.

I am feared by the people.

you will then notice the difference in their usage.

  • Your usage of feared by contradicts to the usage in Peter's answer The fox is feared by the rabbit. What does feared by mean? Mar 25, 2017 at 10:07

Scare vs fear is like

  • borrow and lend
  • give and take
  • provide and receive
  • eat and be eaten

He fears my antics. My antics scare him.
My antics are feared by him. He is scared by my antics.

She lends me money. I borrow money from her.
The money is lent by her. The money is borrowed by me.

She takes the food they give.

We receive help provided by the welfare department.

They eat rabbits. Rabbits are eaten by them.

People don't normally say feared of, but we normally say feared by.

His fear of my antics is driving him nuts.
My antics scaring him is driving him nuts.

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