I have used the following sentence. I am not sure whether the use of word "afraid" conveys the correct meaning.

I am afraid it did not quite answer my question

3 Answers 3


If you could replace the phrase, "I am afraid " with "Unfortunately," in your intended meaning, then yes, you used it correctly, as in definition 2 here.

afraid (adj): filled with concern or regret over an unwanted situation

Note that this definition of afraid is often used with some sarcasm. For instance, if I caught one of my chemistry students cheating, and he or she offered a poor excuse, I might say

I'm afraid you'll have to come up with a better story than that.

and I would not have any concern whatsoever about the unfortunate social situation the student was in.


Maybe rephrasing the following way might help you understand it more easily:

I'm afraid that you might freak out to learn that he's not coming tonight.


The main sense of afraid is feeling fear, frightened, or worried when you think something bad might happen.

The phrase "I am afraid" is used to mean that I am sorry to have to say; you use it as a polite way of telling somebody something that's unpleasant, disappointing, or something you don't agree on.

You have used the phrase correctly in the second sense.

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