care for vs care about

failbetter

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
I understand that to care for someone can mean to like someone romantically, but I wonder if to care about someone can mean the same. If yes, is there any nuance between them when used in this way?
 
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  • coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    mmmmm, Paul? Some people use the phrase "care for" nowadays to express affection. But "care about" is definitely far more common in expressing solicitous concern for someone. I say it that way because a real romantic feeling is not usually expressed that way -- it's polite, sincere, and mild, but that doesn't always add up to a romantic feeling. In fact it may signal the opposite of a romantic feeling:

    "I love you, Alice! Don't you understand?
    "Of course I do, Bobby. And don't get me wrong -- I do care about you."
     

    failbetter

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    To care for someone versus to care about someone

    No. (And "to care for" in the romantic sense is now old-fashioned and rarely used.)
    Thank you.

    mmmmm, Paul? Some people use the phrase "care for" nowadays to express affection. But "care about" is definitely far more common in expressing solicitous concern for someone. I say it that way because a real romantic feeling is not usually expressed that way -- it's polite, sincere, and mild, but that doesn't always add up to a romantic feeling. In fact it may signal the opposite of a romantic feeling:

    "I love you, Alice! Don't you understand?
    "Of course I do, Bobby. And don't get me wrong -- I do care about you."
    Thank you.
     
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