56 Fear

Six people share what they are afraid of and why it scares them.

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Adrienne, United States
speakerWhat am I afraid of? Probably the same things that most people are afraid of. I don't like snakes very much. I don't like strange and large insects, especially in my apartment. I've had a few incidents with that and it's very startling. I just don't like anything creepy crawly. I guess.

Conrad, The United States
speakerWhat am I afraid of? Let's see. I've always been afraid of snakes. That's probably because my grandmother and father are also afraid of snakes and I must have been influenced by them somehow and their reaction to seeing snakes. Plus, they're just such – in my opinion – ugly creatures and slimy and just for me not an attractive animal.

Peter, Sweden
speakerWhat am I afraid of? I would actually have to say sharks because just the look of sharks really scares me and also made me scared of water as well. I don't like swimming just because I think their might be a shark in the water, so I really hate sharks.

Philip, United Kingdom
speakerSo what am I afraid of? One of my biggest fears is heights. Definitely. The idea of bungee-jumping terrifies me. I went to a parachuting school session once with my friends in England and I was more scared than I have ever been in my life, so my biggest fear has to be heights.

Skip, United States
speakerWhat are you afraid of? Well, recently I visited a friend of mine in Shanghai and she made a comment that I thought was very interesting. She said I look like I have money. I don't but compared to the people, regular people walking around on the street, I look like I have a lot of money, and so I suppose that made me think that, gee, I'm really afraid of someone thinking that I have a lot of money and trying to rob me, especially if they have a gun. I have a little bit of paranoia about guns. But, yeah, especially maybe in a big city where I don't know people and maybe I'm in a neighborhood I'm not familiar with or I don't know well. In some cities, that is a real problem that you can end up getting robbed.

Barbara, Australia
speakerWhat am I afraid of? Well, for one thing, cockroaches. They are glossy black and they dart around quickly. You never know where they are going to head next. And even if you spray them or hit them with a newspaper and they fall off the wall, their body is still there somewhere under the sofa. You can never get rid of them. Where there is one, there is always more. That's what I'm afraid of.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson!



I've had a few incidents.

An incident is a negative situation or event. Notice the following:

  1. The protesters marched without incident.
  2. The news reported a shooting incident at the university.



It's very startling.

Startling is similar in meaning to surprising.  Notice the following:

  1. The results of the survey were startling.
  2. The results of the survey were surprising.

creepy crawly


I don't like anything creepy crawly.

We use the phrase creepy-crawly to talk about insects, especially ones that scare us.  Notice the following:

  1. I hate creepy-crawly cockroaches.
  2. I saw lots of creepy-crawly snacks at the markets in China.



Snakes are slimy.

Slime is a slippery liquid coating we find on animals or things in wet places.  Notice the following:

  1. The toilet was dirty and slimy.
  2. Fish are slippery and slimy.



I have a little paranoia about guns.

We have paranoia when we believe, often unreasonably, that someone or something will harm us.  Notice the following:

  1. I feel a little paranoia when traveling alone.
  2. I have this paranoia of riding motorcycles.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
incidents • startling • creepy
slimy • paranoia
  1. He has had a number of in class recently.
  2. After I found a bug in my lettuce I developed a about eating salads.
  3. Oysters are too for me to eat. They make me want to vomit.
  4. I'm sure the basement in this apartment building is full of -crawly creatures.
  5. It was very to find him in my house because he didn't have a key.