How to use care

Care: take care (of), care (about) and care for

1 take care of

Take care of normally means ‘look after’ or ‘take responsibility for’.

  • Nurses take care of people in the hospital.
  • It’s no good giving Peter a rabbit: he’s too young to take care of it properly.
  • Ms. Savage takes care of marketing, and I’m responsible for production.

Take care (without a preposition) means ‘be careful’. Some people use it as a formula when saying goodbye.

  • Take care when you’re crossing the road, children.

2 care (about)

Care (about) is used to say whether you feel something is important to you.
This is very common in negative sentences.
About is used before an object, but is usually left out before conjunction.

  • Most people care about other people’s opinions. (NOT … take care &f / CtlFe far other people’s opinions)
  • I don’t care whether it rains – I’m happy.
  • I’ll never speak to you again. ~I don’t care.
  • Your mother’s upset with you. ~I couldn’t care less. (= I don’t care at all.)

3 care for

Care forcan be used to mean ‘look after’.

  • He spent years caring for his sick mother.

Another meaning is ‘like‘ or ‘be fond of‘, but this is not very common in
modern English.

  • I don’t much care for strawberries.

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