Don't be AFRAID of Halloween!

Today were are talking about Halloween!

Halloween is a holiday on October thirty-first. Children dress up in costumes, knock on strangers' doors and yell, "Trick or Treat!" and the strangers give them candy. Basically, it's the best day of the year. 


The official fruits of Halloween are pumpkins. But we don't eat them, we carve them. To CARVE means to cut a hard material, like a pumpkin skin, to produce an object or design. 

On Halloween, everyone wears costumes. You can dress as a ghost, Frankenstein's monster, zombies, Count Dracula, and witches. You can dress as anything you want, but the best costumes are trying to scare people. They are trying to BE SCARY. 


Some of my students mistake costume and uniform. What's the difference? A costume is the clothes worn by someone who is trying to look like a different person or thing. This guy's an actor, and when he's in front of the camera, he wears a costume. He is pretending to be a knight. 

A uniform, on the other hand is the clothes worn by the members of a certain job, school, or sports team. Let's look at the difference: This guy is wearing a uniform. He's a real police officer. He wears these clothes for his job.These two are not real police officers. They are only pretending. They're wearing costumes. 


FEAR is a noun. Fear is something we feel when we are nervous or scared. When we talk about fear, we use the adjectives SCARED and AFRAID. Let's look at the structure: We can use AFRAID and SCARED in much the same way. We can be AFRAID OF or SCARED OF a person place or thing. You can be afraid of spiders, of ghosts, of the dark. I'm afraid of snakes, and spiders. Some people are afraid of the dark. Others are afraid of lightning. 

You can also be afraid of an action. OF + gerund. Some people are afraid of flying, of speaking in public, of walking through a dangerous part of town. We can also use AFRAID and SCARED with the infinitive. Afraid to fly, scared to speak in public, afraid to walk in a cemetery at night. 

These kids aren't afraid to walk in a cemetery at night. Oh! Maybe they are. 


Now, how are afraid and scared different? You can say "I am scared of spiders" or "I am afraid of spiders."  You can say "Spiders scare me" but you cannot say "Spiders afraid me". Afraid is never used as a verb. This guy isn't scared of anything. Except ghosts. Ghosts definitely scare him. 


AFRAID has a meaning other than fear. When we say "I'm afraid" it means "unfortunately." For example "I'm afraid all flights are delayed because of the storm." She means to say "unfortunately." "I'm afraid we're out of beer. Would you like a cocktail instead?" He's not scared of the situation. He only means, "unfortunately." "Are you coming to my party?" "I'm afraid not." Unfortunately, no. 

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