Jack settled back in his chair, looked out across the room, and said to his client:
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it. Everything’ll be fine. I’ll have it all done by the close of play tonight. ”
Take care of is a phrasal verb which many students seem to mix up with other verbs, and often learners make a mistake regarding which preposition to use.
It might help if you see this phrasal verb as one piece of vocabulary, and not 3 separate words.
Take care of is used to say that you’ll look after someone or something or that you’ll do what is necessary in a particular situation. It’s this idea of dealing with or handling a situation so that everything will be ok or works out fine.
It’s also said as a way to reassure someone that the situation will be resolved or looked after. That’s why you might hear someone say “don’t worry” before saying that they’ll take care of things. Or that after saying they’ll take care of something, they might say how.
Check Out These Examples
Take care of is often used with ‘ll, especially in spoken English or conversational writing (eg in emails). Here are a few examples:
“You go ahead, Sylvie. I’ll take care of this. I’ll call you later.”
“I’ll take care of this personally.”
“Look, don’t worry – I’ll take care of it myself.”
“If you pay for the drinks, I’ll take care of the rest.” [I’ll pay for the rest]
“I know you’re really stressed about this merger. Don’t worry about the paperwork, I’ll take care of everything.”
“There’s no way you’re going to work while you’re sick honey. I’ll take care of you.”
“I totally recommend the Smith Street Hotel, they’re great. Tell them I sent you and they’ll take care of you.”
Do you see how this phrasal verb can be used in a number of situations?
For example, at the hotel it might mean they’ll give you good, friendly service so that you feel a valued guest. In the case of the man or woman taking care of their partner who is sick, this means they’ll make them tea, talk to them, go to the shops, and so on.
In a few cases there might be a negative meaning, in that the situation will be resolved in a bad way. Think of a guy who works for a drug dealer and they’re worried that their friend will tell the police:
“Hey, I’ve got this. I’ll take care of him, ok. He won’t say nuffin’ after I’m through talking with him.”
- Of course it can be used with other verb forms:
“I’m taking care of the shop while Gill’s on holiday.”
“Don’t worry, we’ve already taken care of it, Marge.”
“Well I’m glad we took care of that!”
Take Care Of – Patterns With Reflexive Pronouns
Typical examples of take care of include reflexive pronouns:
“You’ve really got to take care of yourself, Gary. That looks like a nasty bump you’ve got there.”
“After Louise left me, I found it hard to take care of myself.”
“Ok mate catch you next week at the footy – take care of yourself!” [a way of saying ‘goodbye’]
“Hey everything will be alright. Just tell me you’ll take care of yourself, ok.” [a way of sympathising or showing concern towards someone]
Describing Duties At Work Or At Home
When we talk about our work or things we need to look after, we often use take care of:
“I take care of the day-to-day running of the business, while Nigel deals with the strategic part.”
“I take care of the kids when Nuria and Martin have to go to work.”
“While Britney’s been away, I’ve been taking care of her clients.”
Is there another phrasal verb you would like me to write about..? Please feel free to leave a suggestion below and until next time – take care of yourself!