When I was learning Spanish, I was taught these two basic variations of ‘to be scared’:
- Tener miedo
So these were what I used on a day-to-day basis. Until I came across a third option that I heard on a regular basis... but was one was never taught by the language centre: acojonarse.
I can only assume it’s due to its slightly-vulgar nature.
But hey, we’re all humans so we do need to properly express ourselves sometimes. With two variations, that may not be enough.
So if you’re wondering how to say ‘acojonarse’ in English, let me first begin by giving you the proper and non-vulgar options:
😨 To be petrified - estar petrificado/a
😨 To be afraid - estar asustado
😨 To be terrified - estar aterrorizado
And for those interested, here are some informal alternatives. Just remember to pick your moment as you may not want to blurt these out during an office meeting!
😨 To be scared shitless/to death
😨 To be freaked out
😨 To have the jitters
😨 To be frightened out of one’s wits
You could also say someone “scared the living daylights” out of you.
😨 I was downstairs getting a cup of water in the middle of the night and cat jumped up onto the counter and scared the living daylights out of me!
I hope that helps!
Soy el director de Daniel Smith + Partners. Tengo más de 15 años de experiencia enseñando inglés a españoles.