Can the expression "that you see" be used in place of "you take her for" in the sentence below? Does this make sense in English?

I just don't think you should get married right now. You've only known each other for six months. Maybe she's not the perfect girl that you see.

  • 1
    It's ambiguous - the highlighted element could mean that you have seen so far [because you haven't yet seen all aspects of her character] OR that you think she is [on the basis of what you've seen]. I'm not sure that nuance of distinction makes any difference from the speaker's perspective anyway. He's advising the other person that the girl might have as-yet-unknown flaws - he's not necessarily interested in exactly why the other person might have an overoptimistic view of her. Jan 21, 2023 at 17:43
  • No, of course not. And it's not the same thing in Portuguese either.
    – Lambie
    Jan 21, 2023 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


The meaning of the two idioms is not exactly the same, but in the specific context of your example, the overall meaning of what is being said is very similar.

To 'take someone for' means to accept them at 'face value', or exactly as they appear. Using this idiom in your example could suggest the girl projects a false image of herself but has another concealed personality.

The original version of your example suggests that the person has not seen a particular side of the girl's personality. There is less of an inference that she has deliberately tried to portray herself differently, although it could be said that all people act differently in different contexts to a degree and that those we interact with in those contexts have only seen part of our personality.

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