Difference Between Fear and Afraid

Fear vs Afraid

All living beings are subjected to emotions. Every living being feels it when a threat is posed to their life and, as a result, they are capable of reacting appropriately according to the situation. Fear is one such emotion that warns all living beings of danger and which in turn allows them to take necessary action in order to shield themselves against potential threats.

What is Fear?

Perceived by all living beings, fear is an emotion that is primarily felt when encountered with a threat or danger, and occurring in response to a stimulus occurring in the present or in the future that is perceived as a threat to life, health, status, power, or anything that is held valuable. Fear causes certain changes in the brain thereby causing a change in behaviour, as well, such as hiding or running away, often leading to responses such as avoiding the cause of fear or confrontation of the cause. Fear is an emotion or an understanding that is developed as a result of learning and cognition. It is also known as one of the small set of innate or basic emotions of human beings such as  joy, fright, sadness, dread, horror, anxiety, panic, anger and acute stress reaction.

Fear can be judged as irrational and inappropriate as well as rational and appropriate. The irrational and inappropriate fear is termed as phobia.

What does Afraid mean?

Being afraid can be defined as feeling fear or being filled with apprehension. It is an adjective that is used to express one’s dread of a certain thing or situation. This could be triggered as a result of perceiving of certain phenomena as a threat to life, health, wealth, status, or anything else that is considered as valuable to a person. For an example,

“He is afraid of heights”

‘Afraid’ can also be used to express regret or concern over certain situations. For an example,

“I’m afraid he can’t make it tonight”

Furthermore, ‘afraid’ is an adjective that can also express reluctance that is evoked as a result of timidity or fear. For an example,

“She was afraid to use the metro”

What is the difference between Afraid and Fear?

Fear and afraid being two interlinked words that are very closely related to one another, one often tends to forget the correct usage of these two terms. However, knowing the difference between the two will somewhat lend a helping hand in using these two words appropriately in the relevant contexts.

• Fear is a noun. Afraid is an adjective.

• Fear is an emotion experienced when encountered with a threat. Afraid is the feeling of fear.

• Afraid can also be used to express regret, concern or to express reluctance. Fear cannot be used to express these feelings.

• Fear tends to trigger extreme reactions in the individual experiencing the emotion. Being afraid does not always trigger extreme reactions.

• Fear is one of the basic set of emotions felt by a human being. Afraid is a word that sprouts from the word fear.