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I have read the following example in https://www.wordreference.com/deen/annehmen:

Ich habe mich der Katze angenommen und kümmere mich um sie.

I'd translate it as "I took care of the cat and I'm taking care of it", which doesn't make much sense. Is there a difference between both verbs in this context?

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The phrase "sich jemandes annehmen" or "sich etwas annehmen" is relatively old-fashioned. You may want to note that it uses the genitive, so it's "sich jemandes annehmen", not "sich jemandem annehmen".

As for the difference to "sich um jemanden kümmern", in my experience it's mostly a matter of different times that are referred to. "Sich jemandes annehmen" refers more to a point in time, like the time you decided to take care of somebody. "Sich um jemanden kümmern" refers more to the actual acts of care of a span of time after the decision. Otherwise, the phrases are quite similar.

I'd read the quoted example as a sequence of events, like

Ich habe mich der Katze angenommen, und seither kümmere ich mich um sie.
I took responsibility for the cat, and since then I've been taking care of it.

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  • Thanks. Neither DWDS nor the WordReference dicitonary mention that "sich jemandes/etwas annehmen" is relatively old-fashioned and that's something very hard for a foreigner learning the German language to find out. Apr 20 at 19:26

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