I had always known 关 to be for close and 管 to be for caring

关门 and 不管他

But then I saw a translation for care into 关照. Which confused me, because it sounded like the wrong Guan. But after looking it up, it turns out a lot of phrases use 关 for care

And the first definition for 管 is actually tube.

So here are the phrases where I'm confused at:

  • 我不关心
  • 我不管
  • 我不在乎

Are all three of these interchangeable at any point?

Or are there subtle differences in scenarios in which you'd use each?

4 Answers 4


While all three can be translated as "I don't care" from time to time, there are still subtle differences.

"我不关心" typically means "I am less/no interested in something". For example, "我不关心政治" ("I don't care about politics").

"我不管" is typically used in the case where you insist on something despite the constraints and/or the potential consequence. You acknowledge the presence of the constraints/consequences, but you care less about them. For example, "我不管老闆怎麼想,我下週就是要請假" ("I don't care how my boss thinks. I will take vacation next week.").

You can also reguard “我不管” as “No matter what happens, I must do something……”. And this is usually used in some senarios that is bad or not very good for you, and you have something mood of 破罐子破摔 (Bad as it is). So this is something in the extreme situation.

Please see this dialog:





For the 2nd meaning:我不管Something(This means I'm not reponsible for something, it has nothing to do with me.)

"我不在乎" is similar to "我不管", but in the cases you care far less about the constraints and/or the potential consequence. For example, "我不在乎花多少錢, 請醫好我兒子" ("I don't care how much it costs. Please save my son."). This is much less in mood, compared with 我不管, a neutral word used to mean that you are trying your best to do something with any possible solution.

For the 2nd meaning:我不在乎 sometimes also means “我不介意,不关心某事” (This usually means something happening doesn't effect on me seriously or in faulty).

You can understand this in the senario:


学生:反正政治是副科,无所谓的,我不在乎。(I don't care about whether I could pass the exam of politics or not because the lesson isn't a major one for me, and on the other hand, it cannot make me repeat my course again).


"管" means "manage" with "responsibility", always someone who has a high level could "管", for example, your work leader, government officer.

"关“ means "close", always someone who has a closer relationship with you will "关心" or “关照“ you, for example, your family members and friends.


管means tube,for example 管道 吸管.it also has the other meaning,manage,for exmaple 管理 关means close,as 关门 关窗,and extends to "be closed to",for exmple 关心,关=be closed to,心=heart,so the words mean "it's closed to heart",a way of express somebody care about someone or something.another example关于,于=to,关于=be closed to something or someone,means about something or someone.

  • @young99 haha.thank you.I will try
    – J.Wang
    Dec 8, 2016 at 7:08

關 implies caring and is often used in the sense of a relationship.

父母一定要關心子女的事。 Parents must definitely worry about their children's affairs.

我關愛我的貓。 I am concerned for and care about my cat.

管 implies taking action, especially because of responsibility. In some contexts it can also imply meddling. 老闆得管商店所有的事。 The boss must handle all matters in the store.

Here's a somewhat confusing example of both 管 and 關 used in a sentence: 你就關照自己的工作吧,我的事你不用管。 Just take care of your own work. You don't need to worry about mine.

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