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What's the difference between 気を使う and 気にする?

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~に気を使う (also written as 気を遣う) has a positive connotation. It means actively paying attention to something/someone that actually matters. On the other hand, ~を気にする is neutral, but can have a negative/passive connotation depending on the context. It may mean you worry about something even though you don't need to.

  • ~に気を使う: to care; to be mindful; to pay attention; to be attentive
  • ~を気にする: to worry; to be concerned; to be bothered

Note that you can both say {髪型/彼}を気にする and {髪型/彼}に気を使う.

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Found this answer at https://hinative.com/en-US/questions/6361349

気にする 自分が思う。ex. 髪形を気にする

気を使う 相手に対して。ex.彼に気を使う

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