Quick answer
"Look after" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "cuidar", and "be careful" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "tener cuidado". Learn more about the difference between "look after" and "be careful" below.
look after(
look
 
ahf
-
tuhr
)
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to take care of)
a. cuidar
Oscar looks after patients in the hospital.Oscar cuida a los pacientes del hospital.
b. cuidar de
Juliana looks after orphaned bats for a local animal charity.Juliana cuida de murciélagos huérfanos para una organización benéfica local de animales.
c. velar por
There were commandos taking turns looking after the security of the building.Había comandos que se turnaban para velar por la seguridad alrededor del edificio.
d. atender
Marta looks after the hotel's guests.Marta atiende a los huéspedes del hotel.
2. (to keep watch on)
a. vigilar
Please, look after the children while I pay at the cashier's.Por favor, vigila a los niños mientras pago en la caja.
b. cuidar
My cousin is looking after the house for me while I'm away on business.Mi primo me está cuidando la casa mientras ando fuera de negocios.
3. (to manage)
a. encargarse de
My sister looks after the shoe store on Tuesdays.Mi hermana se encarga de la zapatería los martes.
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be careful(
bi
 
kehr
-
fuhl
)
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to exercise caution)
a. tener cuidado
Make sure to be careful with that platter. It's fine china and is very expensive.Asegúrate de tener cuidado con esa bandeja. Es de porcelana y es muy caro.
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
2. (imperative; used to address one person)
a. ten cuidado
A word of phrase used to refer to the second person informal “tú” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. How are you?).
(informal)
(singular)
Be careful out there. The sidewalk is slippery.Ten cuidado afuera. Está resbalosa la acera.
b. tenga cuidado
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(singular)
Please be careful, madam. The streets aren't safe.Por favor tenga cuidado, señora. Las calles son peligrosas.
3. (imperative; used to address multiple people)
a. tengan cuidado (plural)
Be careful if you're out late.Tengan cuidado si regresan a casa tarde.
4. (imperative)
a. cuidado
Be careful, Carl! The oven is on.¡Cuidado, Carl! Está prendido el horno.
b. aguas
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
Be careful with that necklace! It's very fragile.¡Aguas con ese collar! Es muy frágil.
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