can the above structure be used for anything apart from "there's nothing to fear about death"?

I started with this structure, and then noticed I couldn't fit an animal into it:

There's nothing to fear of/about/in/from [dogs/whales/etc]

it doesn't sound quite right.

Should I just fall back on "you shouldn't be afraid of..." or are there any other better suggestions?


2 Answers 2


Using the phrase with an animal would be correct. "There's nothing to fear about whales." This would literally mean that there is no reasonable way to be afraid of whales at all.

"You shouldn't be afraid of whales" has roughly the same meaning and would work the same in most contexts, but is technically different. This phrase means that there may be something to fear about whales, but you should not be afraid of them anyway.


Just a couple of additions to @Whelt's answer, mostly about the different kinds of prepositions you can use with "fear" and "afraid"

You can have "a fear of" something, as in "Linda has a fear of snakes." That's equivalent to "Linda is afraid of snakes." If we want to convey to Linda that she shouldn't be afraid of snakes, we have several alternatives:

  • There's nothing to be afraid of. (Here, the context makes it clear what we mean)
  • There's no reason to be afraid of snakes. (Being specific about snakes)
  • You've got nothing to fear about snakes. (Same as "there's nothing to fear about...")
  • Snakes are nothing to be afraid of. (Inversion of the second example)
  • Have no fear of snakes.
  • The two examples that @Whelt gave, applied to snakes instead of whales.

As you can see, "fear" and "afraid" go with the preposition "of". So what about the examples with "fear about"? For instance:

There's nothing to fear about snakes.

This is actually a version of:

There's nothing about snakes that you should fear.

So the "about" is actually attached to "snakes", and "fear" is used as a verb, which doesn't require a preposition:

  • I don't fear death.
  • Sometimes, she fears about her brother's future.
  • The test results were just as we had feared.

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