I am aware that there is such a phrase take after someone which means to behave or look like your relative. But is it natural to be more specific when using the phrase? For example:

She takes her eyes after her mother.

  • 2
    According to OLAD and Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, its phrasal verb is "take after sb", and not "take sth after sb"
    – lee
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 19:48
  • I am aware of that. What I would like to know if the way I used is used in real life by native English speakers. Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 20:19
  • 1
    I'm a native English speaker and I would find it very strange if you said this, but I'd probably understand what you wanted to say.
    – Mathaddict
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 20:35
  • 1
    I would probably correct that to 'she takes (or gets) her eyes from her mother'. Nobody uses 'after' that way. Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 20:50
  • 2
    I'd expect the standard phrase, and then you could qualify it later: "She takes after her mother, especially in the eyes."
    – Katy
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


I think in this case "take after" is not really a verb-plus-preposition as much as it has become a compound verb. As such, you can't really split the two words up and have them still mean the same thing.

As a native English speaker, I have certainly never heard anybody say something like that, and it would sound distinctly strange (maybe even creepy.. this phrasing actually sounds like she's taking some eyes (from someone) after her mother also takes some.)

One way to say this might be:

She takes after her mother in that her eyes are similar

I have also occasionally heard things like:

Her eyes take after her mother's

  • 1
    It would be more natural to say "She has her mother's eyes". We might also say "She gets her blue eyes from her mother." Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 9:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .