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Difference between Be afraid and “be afraid, be very afraid”

be afraid

1. be frightened or apprehensive about smth.:

  • Willie recounted his life of drugs and violence in remorseless terms, and said he was not afraid to die.

2. feeling regret about smth.:

  • Mary did not let me send the paper at first, she kept hoping it was a mistake, but I am afraid it is too true.

be afraid, be very afraid—(imper.) is used as a humorous cliché to say that smth. unwelcome is imminent:

  • The reservation staff are friendly—but be afraid, be very afraid of the restaurant staff…