Which is correct?
I cared about you vs I care for you?
This post will help you develop your vocabulary.
In the English language, some expressions or phrases may sound alike or closely related.
In some cases, such expressions have been used interchangeably.
It is only at a closer look that you realize the slight differences.
Such is the case with these two phrases “I care about you” and “I care for you” which sounds like they are the same thing.
Firstly, let us establish the fact that both phrases are correct because each of them has what it denotes.
So, the question of which is correct may be somewhat contextual.
How do I mean?
Since both of them have their separate meanings, it will then mean that any of them can be said to be wrong only when it is used out of context.
In a few words, the context is what matters here.
Now, let’s get to understand them by their contextual difference.
I care for you may be used to mean that you like the person you are referring to.
And as a result of this like, you take care of their needs.
On the other hand, I care about you may mean that you are concerned about the person’s well-being, happiness, or safety.
From here, I believe you can catch the slight difference between “I cared about you vs I care for you”.
If we borrow some knowledge of concord in the subject matter, we may be heading in another direction.
Here is what I mean – the word “care” in itself means to look after.
This means that a subject will be required against it rather than a descriptive word like “about”
Since the word “for” balances the verb “care” because “for” reveals to whom or what the action “care” is dedicated.
Based on this, I care for you seems correct.
If you look at “I care about you” too in another sense, it seems to express that the speaker has areas of concern about the hearer.
It means the speaker may not care about the hearer wholly.
Based on the subject of discussion that necessitates the pronouncement of the statement.
The statement is descriptive, so it may be used to indicate the jurisdiction of the care.
So, it may not be a great choice of words if you intend to show full commitment.
Interestingly, the two phrases have been identified as statements that don’t imply any form of romantic connection.
Ladies have used the two phrases to friend zone suitors.
In a way, they use them to establish the fact that they want friendship and nothing beyond that.
Guys who have no experience will usually comfort themselves with these statements until they realized they have been friend-zoned.
Well, communication is a great field.
It emphasizes the mutual understanding of the parties communicating much more than the rule of concord or grammar.
What is key is the understanding of the message the speaker is trying to pass to the hearers.
So, if the speaker and the hearer can decode each other and understand the message being passed across, then communication is successful.