Care as a verb and a noun

The word care is often confused. It is used both as a verb and as a noun and has a meaning similar to concern. Care is also used in some common phrasal verbs. Study the following examples carefully.

Care as a verb

To care is to take an interest in something, to feel concerned about something or to have feelings about something.

  • We don’t care what happens.

The verb care is most common in questions and negative sentences. If there is an object we use care about. Note that about is usually dropped before a conjunction.

  • He doesn’t care about his health. (NOT He doesn’t care his health.)

About is dropped before a conjunction.

  • I don’t care whether she likes it or not. (NOT I don’t care about whether she likes it or not.)

Care as a noun

As a noun care means worry or anxiety. It has a plural form – cares.

  • He doesn’t have many cares.
  • The care of my children is my first priority.

Take care of

Take care of means ‘look after’.

  • She doesn’t take good care of her children.
  • Who takes care of sick people?
  • You need to take care of your health if you want to live longer.

When used without a preposition take care means ‘be careful’.

  • Take care while crossing the road.

Care for

Care for can mean look after. It is mainly used in formal or literary writing. Care for can also mean have a liking for.

Do you care for classical music?

I don’t care for cricket.