I recently read a text wherein the female protagonist cried:

'You have no care of my tender feelings!'

The preposition 'of' struck me as unusual. Is it wrong, or merely old fashioned?

I am aware of this post, which explains the familiar usage only and is therefore of little help.


I know that we would normally use 'for', or 'about' and no 'have'. That is precisely what prompted my question. I am not asking for help with rephrasing this. I am asking whether or not this particular usage is wrong. If it is correct, I am very much interested in the implications of using 'of', as well as in any flavour (archaic, regional...).

  • 1
    It depends on the type of care you're talking about. If it's emotional, you care for someone or something. If it's custodial, you have care of something or someone.
    – Robusto
    Jun 30, 2017 at 12:37
  • 2
    Was it written in the 18th century? have no care of my feelings would be highly unusual in contemporary AmE, to be sure.
    – TimR
    Jun 30, 2017 at 13:04
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo No. it is from an other writer's unpublished draft, so I have not shared the surrounding paragraphs.
    – Ludi
    Jun 30, 2017 at 13:05
  • 1
    It is old fashioned. Today someone might say: "You don't care if you hurt my feelings."
    – David42
    Jun 30, 2017 at 14:29
  • 1
    @user3169 In fact, "about" could only be used if "care" were the verb (or "don't care" in the negative). As the sentence stands, the most obvious correction is offor. As Robusto said, you could potentially "have care of X" which means to be its guardian, but that meaning is rare, and it would be surprising for it to apply to someone else's feelings. Whereas exclamations about having no care for someone else's feelings are common. Jun 30, 2017 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


I think it's just old-fashioned and simply is just another preposition meaning possibly "for" or even "regarding". I looked up "of" on freedictionary.com and definitions 15a and 15b state that "of" can mean "with reference to; about" or "in respect to", so "You have no care of my tender feelings" simply means the same as "You have no care about my tender feelings".


Your sentence

You have no care of my tender feelings!

is understandable and might possibly be

You have no care for my tender feelings!

since the usual phrase is

feelings for

to mean affection.

Do you have feelings for him/her?
Do you feel affection for him/her?

  • 1
    I have some doubts about this. Compare the phrase "Take care of the child." From this example we see that "care of my tender feelings" refers to protection of those feelings from hurt. It means "You carelessly say things which hurt my feelings." Changing "of" to "for" alters the meaning slightly suggesting nourishing care rather than mere protection. But the expression "to have feelings for" refers to a completely different kind of feelings had by a different person.
    – David42
    Jun 30, 2017 at 14:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .