Take care (of)

Animals in zoos suffer in many ways, but at least they are taken care by vets.

In a passive structure this is a fairly easy mistake to make since the object of care comes before the verb. Let’s take a look at some examples using the featured image for this post as inspiration (crossing the road).

take care (no object)

  • When crossing the road you should take care.

In this case the subject – the person who is crossing the road – is looking after him or herself and nobody else.

take care of (+ object)

  • When crossing the road, parents should take care of their children.

In this case the subject – parents – are looking after an object – their children. If we turn this active structure into a passive structure, then we get:

  • When crossing the road, children should be taken care of by their parents.

Conclusion

It might be best to think in terms of the following synonyms:

  • take care = be careful (never followed by an object)
  • take care of = look after (always followed by an object)

In our opening example, which is a passive structure with BOTH subject AND an object, we need:

  • Animals in zoos suffer in many ways, but at least they are taken care of by vets.

Practice

Select words from the drop-down menus to complete the text. When you have finished, click 'Check your answers!' for feedback.

OK I understand

Factory workers need to when using dangerous machinery. They also need to their machines and any safety equipment that they are obliged to use. In the event of an accident, staff are by employers, who provide medical assistance if necessary. And if employees need time off work, then their salaries are also as long as they are off sick.

Answer Key

Answers here, but only if you're really stuck!

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