The verb attend means to be present, to listen, or give care or attention to. You can attend your family reunion, attend to a project you've been ignoring, or attend to your teacher's voice.

When you use attend as "pay attention" or "take care of," it's followed by "to." When you use attend as in "attend a party," you don't. If you attend a political rally, you'll want to attend to what the politicians have to say. When you take attendance, you are checking which students have chosen to attend class, i.e. who is in attendance.

Definitions of attend
  1. verb
    be present at (meetings, church services, university), etc.
    “She attends class regularly”
    “I rarely attend services at my church”
    synonyms: go to
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    fail to attend an event or activity
    sit in
    attend as a visitor
    attend religious services
    offer, offer up
    present as an act of worship
    type of:
    occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere
  2. verb
    give heed (to)
    “The children in the audience attended the recital quietly”
    “They attended to everything he said”
    synonyms: advert, give ear, hang, pay heed
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    pay attention to exclusively and obsessively
    type of:
    hear with intention
  3. verb
    accompany as a circumstance or follow as a result
    “Menuhin's playing was attended by a 15-minute standing ovation”
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    type of:
    accompany, attach to, come with, go with
    be present or associated with an event or entity
  4. verb
    take charge of or deal with
    “I must attend to this matter”
    synonyms: look, see, take care
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    attend to the wants and needs of others
    have care of or look after
    work in the garden
    tend as a shepherd, as of sheep or goats
    type of:
    care, give care
    provide care for
  5. verb
    work for or be a servant to
    “She attends the old lady in the wheelchair”
    synonyms: assist, attend to, serve, wait on
    devote (part of) one's life or efforts to, as of countries, institutions, or ideas
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    serve as a personal attendant to
    act as a servant for older boys, in British public schools
    type of:
    aid, assist, help
    give help or assistance; be of service
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