"When someone deletes you, the system will not tell you because they are afraid that you will be sad; when you delete someone else, the system will ask you if you are sure, because you are afraid you will regret it."

"because you are afraid you will regret it." I did not make sure this is right or not. Is this sentence has any mistakes? Someone told me that "that" is after the word "afraid" and "that" is omitted.

How about "because you are afraid of regretting it."?

  • What is the source of the quote. I've seen it attributed to "Spongebob Squarepants", but in lots of variations, and only on Chinese websites. I suspect some multiple translations and misquoting.
    – James K
    Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 12:38
  • @JamesK I saw this sentence in last Year on a phone APP.
    – jiexishede
    Commented Aug 19, 2022 at 1:47

1 Answer 1


Your examples are all correct.

Many verbs and some adjectives (like "afraid") can be followed by a noun clause. That is, "that" + [subject + verb]. So the following are all correct.

I know that you will be sad.
I said that you will be sad.
I am afraid that you will be sad.

In all of these sentences, "that" can be omitted. The result is sometimes called a "reduced clause."

I know you will be sad.
I said you will be sad.
I am afraid you will be sad.

Reduced clauses are especially natural in speech. You will sometimes be advised not to reduce clauses in formal writing.

To follow "afraid" with a noun instead of a noun clause, the noun must be introduced with the preposition "of."

I am afraid of the dark.

In your example, the noun is formed from the present participle of the verb regret:

You are afraid of regretting it.

I'm sure you know that we call this kind of noun a gerund. To my ears that sounds perfectly correct but a little less natural than "you are afraid you will regret it." But I cannot explain why it seems that way to me. The following sounds completely natural even though it is formed in the same way.

You are tired of waiting.

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