Expressions you must know
I’m afraid that means ‘I’m sorry to tell you that’. This structure is used to introduce apologetic refusals and bad news.
I’m afraid I can’t lend you my car. (= I’m sorry to tell you that I can’t lend you my car.)
I’m afraid I can’t help you. (= I’m sorry to tell you that I can’t help you.)
I’m afraid so and I’m afraid that can be used as short answers.
‘Prices are going up.’ ‘Yes, I’m afraid so.’
‘Can you help me?’ ‘I’m afraid not.’ (= I’m sorry to tell you that I can’t help you.)
After all means ‘we must not forget that…’. It goes at the beginning or at the end of clause.
‘I think you should let him decide what he wants to do with his life. After all, he is a big boy now.’ (= We must not forget that he is a big boy now.)
‘Of course, you’re tired. After all, you were working all day.’
Almost can mean ‘similar to, but not exactly the same’.
Susie is almost like a daughter to me.
My computer has a mind of its own – it is almost human.
These structures are used to talk about the absence of change.
My new job isn’t any different from my last one.
‘How’s your father today?’ ‘No different. He’s still very ill.’
Any/no good; any/no use
It’s no good waiting for him. He isn’t going to him.
It’s no use asking him. He doesn’t know.
‘Was the film any good?’