Scared VS Be Scared: What’s the Difference

Scared VS Be Scared: What’s the Difference

1. When you are scared that means you are afraid of someone or something. The word ‘scared’ is an adjective. So you need the verb ‘be’ to use it as a verb.

He is scared of spiders.

You can also say ‘He’s afraid of spiders’.

2. When you scare someone that means you make someone scared. In this sentence, ‘scare’ is a verb.

I often tell stories that scare people.

When we use ‘scare’ in the past tense it looks similar to the adjective ‘scared’.

Her voice scared me.

But as you can see, there’s no verb ‘be’ in this case. So it’s just the past form of ‘scare’.

The synonym of ‘scare’ is the verb ‘frighten’. It is used similarly.

You either frighten someone or feel/be frightened by someone.

Common idioms with ‘scare’

Scared VS Be Scared: What’s the Difference

– scare to death/stiff, which means to be extremely nervous and worried.

Meeting new people scares me to death.

– scare the hell out of me

She scared the hell out of me when she fell out of the tree.

– scare the bejesus out of someone

L.A. Halloween parties can scare the bejesus out of you.

‘Bejesus’ is an exclamation that is used to react to something unexpected or for emphasis. It originated from the Irish version of ‘by Jesus’.


Another adjective for ‘scare’ is ‘scary’.

You can watch a scary movie or listen to a scary story.

Read more about tricky English words


Scare: Cambridge Dictionary
Scared: Cambridge dictionary
Scary: Cambridge Dictionary
Bejesus: Online Etymology Dictionary

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