22 January 2014

The Grammatical Anomaly of ‘Taken Cared of’

Image credit:  Scoopboy.com.
There, I heard it again; on national television, no less! In the primetime series ‘Honesto,’ the secretary of Governor Hugo Layer referred to the impending engagement party for Diego and Marie as ‘taken cared of.’

I used to hear this grammatical anomaly used a lot by educators. It is a common enough mistake made by Filipinos; but wrong nonetheless. If used by educators, then you can all imagine how quickly its erroneous usage can spread.

I even used to hear this a lot from my former boss, the late Brother Rafael Donato; and, for a while, even I became confused.

‘Take care of’ is a verb phrase and is idiomatic in terms of usage. Its past tense ought to be ‘took care of’; and in participial form should be ‘taken care of.’

There is a very simple explanation why “taken cared of” is incorrect. In the phrase “take care of,” the word “care” is actually a noun. As everyone knows even from the most basic grammar, tenses are applied to verbs, which indicate action whether active or passive.

Since the usage of “care” in the phrase “take care of” is as a noun, therefore, the past tense cannot be applied to it. In fact, the tense has already been applied to “taken,” such that it is often stated as “is taken care of,” “has been taken care of,” “had been taken care of,” “will be taken care of” or “would be taken care of.

So the next time you hear somebody say “taken cared of,” do make the correct before that person confuses another into thinking that the phrase is correctly used. It is not.

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