Business Phrases Czechs get wrong in English: Care about / Take care of

I have taught Business English to hundreds of Czech learners over 5 years, and one classic phrase I often hear from them is:

‘I care about recruitment’

‘I cared about the launch of the product.’

‘We have some problems with the testing, but I am caring about it.’

Unfortunately, the phrase ‘care about’ is incorrect in these sentences, and this can be quite important because it changes the meaning.

The correct verb can be either take care of’ or deal with’.  Both of these verbs mean the same thing in these contexts:

‘I deal with recruitment’

‘We have some problems with the testing, but I am taking care of it’

To deal with something, or to take care of something, means to manage something, to handle something, to be in charge of something. You can use it to talk about your role in a company:

‘I deal with the financial side of the business.’

‘I take care of the Prague branch.’

You can also use it to talk about managing specific situations.

‘We are currently dealing with / taking care of the problem.’

So in a business context, then, these two words have pretty much the same meaning.

So why can’t we use care about, and what does care about mean?

Care about is only used to talk about your feelings for something.  If you care about something it means that it is important for you.  You feel that something is very important and dear to you.  That something is in your heart.

‘I care about my family.’ - I love my family

‘I care about my business.’ - I love my business.

So care about and take care of actually have completely different meanings.


To show you this more clearly, it is possible to take care of something but not care about it..

If you are the cleaner of the office for example, you could say:

‘I take care of the cleaning of the office.’

But it is possible that the cleaner may not like his or her job, so does not think that it is dear or important to them.  Therefore the cleaner could also say:

‘I don’t care about my job.’

So in this situation, the cleaner takes care of the office, but doesn’t really care about it, because the job is not something which is dear to them in their heart, so to say.


It is also possible to care about something but not take care of it..

Imagine that you support a football team.  You love the team and you want them to do well, so you really care about the team.  But you can’t take care of them, you can’t manage them, because you are not a football manager.


However, in most situations, it is possible that you take care of something and you also care about it..

Let’s take a look at another business example.  Imagine you are the owner of a business.  You have worked very hard throughout your whole adult life to get the business off the ground, and so you love it and hold it close to your heart.  You care about the business.  If you also manage this business as well, you can also say that you take care of the business.  Most situations are like this, which is why these two verbs are very confusing!


Take care of also has a different meaning – To make sure that someone is safe and that they are provided for.

This can also be used in a business context:

‘I am taking care of the new intern this week.’ – means I am making sure that the new intern is ok.

I also hear Czechs use care about with this meaning as well, which is also unfortunately incorrect and changes the meaning.

If you use the example above with care about:

‘I am caring about the new intern this week.’ - It means that this week you like the new intern and you want them to do well, but next week you won’t have any interest in them at all!


Take a look at this clearer example..

Imagine you are a grandparent, and your grandson comes to your house on Friday afternoons while his parents are at work.  You can say:

‘I take care of my grandson on Friday afternoons.’ - This means that he comes to your house and you provide for him and make sure he is ok.

If you say..

‘I care about my grandson on Friday afternoons’ 

This means that you love your grandson on Friday afternoons, but for the rest of the time you are not interested in them at all!

So these verbs are very confusing because they look similar, and they can be used in the same context, but they mean completely different things.  Getting it wrong can generate some very strange sentences! To summarise:

Take care of

- to deal with, to manage, to handle something

to make sure that somebody is safe and provided for (look after also has the same meaning)

Care about

To feel that something is dear and important to you.


I hope this makes the difference between those phrasal verbs a bit easier. If you would like any more examples of these phrases in use, feel free to comment below or email me at!  Thank you very much for reading my post! If you are serious about taking your English to advanced level and beyond, I suggest that you download my free e-book.  It covers many tips on how to improve your English learning, and how to avoid many more classic mistakes that so many learners make.  I don’t want you to make the same mistakes as many learners that I have met in the past have made.  

Find out how you can completely transform your English with just 6 minutes per day with my carefully planned ’6-minute Solution’, which I will guide you through step-by step.

  20160809_142239 David Cox Advanced English for Professionals Did you enjoy this post? Follow me!