Expressions with care

Take care of

Take care of means ‘look after’.

  • Who takes care of sick people?
  • If I give you a rabbit, will you be able to take care of it properly?

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

  • Take care when you are crossing the road.

Care about

When you care about something, you feel it is important or it interests or worries you.

  • I don’t care about your opinion. (= I don’t think that your opinion is important.)

If there is no object, we do not use about.

  • ‘I don’t want to meet you again.’ ‘I don’t care.’ (NOT I don’t care about.)

About is also left out before a conjunction.

  • I don’t care whether you like it or not. (NOT I don’t care about whether you like it or not.)

Couldn’t care less means ‘don’t care at all’.

  • ‘She is very upset with you.’ ‘I couldn’t care less.’ (= I don’t care at all.)

Care for

In a formal or literary style, care for can be used to mean ‘look after’.

  • He spent years caring for his sick mother.

Care for can also mean ‘like’.

  • He really cares for his siblings. (= He is really fond of his siblings.)
  • I don’t much care for fish. (= I don’t like fish.)