Take care instead of Goodbye

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Oros, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Oros Senior Member

    What is the real meaning of the words 'take care' ?

    People used to saying 'take care' instead of 'good bye'.

    When departing to say either 'good bye' or 'see you later' is understandable and acceptable.

    What is 'take care' ? I strongly suspect it has AmE roots?

    When someone say good bye, in return I say good bye too.

    When someone say take care, what would you say?

    I have heard even 'good bye and take care' too.

    I take care of my wife and children?
  2. manuycacu

    manuycacu Senior Member

    San Isidro, BA
    Argentina - Spanish
    Hi Oros! It's a way of wishing you well, telling you to take care of yourself. In return, you could simply say "you too"
  3. Paulina Senior Member


    To begin, I think 'take care' is something one should say in addition to saying 'goodbye'. I do not think it is a replacement for goodbye, rather it is more of an added farewell message to a goodbye. Thus, it is common to say to another person: "goodbye and take care". It simply means that you wish them well and you hope that things are good for them. It is just a little way to show you care about how they are doing and it is acceptable to say to friends, family and aquaintances. It does not imply (as you mentioned) to take care of your affairs (ie. take care of your wife and children)
    If someone says 'take care' to you, you can respond by either saying 'thank - you', 'you too', 'keep well' (just a re-wording of the same expression), or just 'goodbye'.

    P.S. I do not know the roots/origin of the expression.

    Hope this helped you.:)
  4. Lancel0t

    Lancel0t Senior Member

    Philippines - Filipino/English
    Usually if a person will tell you to "take care" during goodbye it only means that the person do really care for you and he/she is concern about you that is why he/she is telling you those words. You can always say "thank you" as a response but if you will ask me what's the suitable answer for that, I would say "you too, or you take care of yourself too".
  5. Narda Senior Member

    Weston, Florida
    Hi Oros: When a person says Take Care means exactly that, "please take care of yourself". The correct response would be "you too".
  6. FakeUserName New Member

    Of course "take care" means "take care of yourself" and so also its internet version TC.
    But this not a formal and even polite way of wishing.People have assumed here it means "PLEASE take care of yourself".

    In fact this is not the case if looked at depth.

    It may indicate the person who is wishing smarter than the other person and reminds her/him to take care of her/himself.

    The best way would be to start replacing this with "please take proper care" along with an internet version PTPC. This will make it polite.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  7. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    "Please take proper care" will not not be received as more polite, more sincere, or more understandable than "Take care." It will simply get on the nerves of many people* because it will sound overly solicitous and excessively formal, even patronizing -- as though you believe yourself so much smarter than others that you must warn people leaving your protective presence about the perils they face when venturing out into the world.

    *Obviously, I'm one of those "many people." ;)

    Welcome to the forum. :)
  8. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I would use "take care" as an addendum to "goodbye", and not a substitute for "goodbye".

    (Though I usually say, "Goodbye, and drive with reckless abandon".)
  9. xjm Senior Member

    WI, USA
    English - USA
    I disagree. This may be the case in your native dialect, but in American English, "Please take proper care" sounds like something a meddling, disapproving grandmother would say. She thinks you don't eat right, you drive dangerously, and you're a hair's breadth from getting pregnant out of wedlock, or thrown in prison, or something.

    In my dialect, Take care is a warm, sincere thing to say when you part from someone. It is more familiar than Goodbye and implies that you care about the person's well-being. Like all social niceties, it can be hollow sometimes, but no more or less so than anything else.
  10. FakeUserName New Member

    Some members have been too critical of my suggestion to replace "take care" with "please take proper care".

    Without a compromise, I beg to apologize, if my words against "take care" have hurt any of them owing to the significance "take care" may carry in their dialect.

    Additionally, I have given a post-post thought to the suggestions in my post . In fact,my suggestions were based on the e-mails in my region with most of them using "take care" in the end without proper politeness in the main body of the mail. "Take care" is being increasingly used to emphasize the dignity and hence the smartness of the sender over the recipient.

    Personally, myself is an avid devotee of politeness in both formal and in-formal letters and e-mails. This makes me partial towards "goodbye and take care" in comparison to "take care".

    Lastly, with a view to remind, the new generation non-English mother tongue English users (who otherwise are quick to grasp the flooding cheap "slang and smart" items) in our community, the politeness of the English speaking people I have started using "please take care of everything".

    I do hope this is far more non-meddling,less over-caring and gives a significance to the receiver while being polite.
  11. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Please take care of everything will certainly bring a smile to the faces of native English speakers. :) I'm afraid that your self-created expressions are not going to have the effect you intend.
  12. Copperknickers Senior Member

    Scotland - Scots and English
    In Scotland it's frequently used instead of goodbye. Usually for someone who is going on a journey. For example, if someone leaves your house after a party, they say goodbye to you and you say take care to them.
  13. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I went to the dentist the other day and he said, "How's everything?"

    I replied, "'Everything' covers a lot of ground. Where would you like me to begin?"

    The dentist then said, "Let me revise that. How is everything in relation to your teeth and general dental health."

    So I would say that "please take care of everything" covers a lot of ground too--much of that ground would be inappropriate to cover by the reader. So I would not use this phrase to close out a note, e-mail or letter.

    I think you would be better served using a more commonly used closing.

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