Quick answer
"Look after" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "cuidar", and "care for" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "cuidar a". Learn more about the difference between "look after" and "care for" 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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care for(
kehr
 
fawr
)
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 a
Luis cares for his patients in the hospital.Luis cuida a sus pacientes en el hospital.
b. ocuparse de
Lucy cares for an elderly neighbor twice a week.Lucy se ocupa de una vecina anciana dos ves por semana.
c. encargarse de
John cares for the garden in his free time.John se encarga del jardín en su tiempo libre.
2. (to be fond of)
a. querer
You should never ignore someone who cares for you.Nunca debes ignorar a una persona que te quiere.
b. sentir cariño por
Fernando told Marina that he cares for her.Fernando le dijo a Marina que siente cariño por ella.
c. sentir afecto por
She truly seems to care for him.Realmente parece sentir afecto por él.
3. (to feel like having something)
a. querer
Do you care for anything to eat before you go to bed?¿Quieres comer algo antes de acostarte?
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Would you care for a drink with your meal?¿Te gustaría una bebida con la comida?
Would you care for a sandwich?¿Te apetece un sándwich?
4. (to dislike; used in the negative)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I don't care for modern art.El arte moderno no me gusta.
Mary did not care for the idea of spending a whole afternoon with her mother-in-law.A Mary no le hacía ninguna gracia la idea de pasar toda una tarde con su suegra.
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