to take after someone: meaning and explanation

We use the phrasal verb to take after someone to say that we are similar to our mother or father (and other older family members, although this is less common).

The similarity can be physical e.g. He’s very tall – he takes after his father.

It could also be related to personality e.g. I hope she doesn’t take after her father – he wasn’t a hardworking man.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: England (London)

, , .
my looks, I dad, personality similar mother's.
In terms my looks, I after my dad, my personality is similar to mother's.

…in terms of my looks

The phrase in terms of + something is a very useful way to focus on one aspect of something. This is a great way to organise your ideas and structure your speaking. e.g. In terms of quality of life, Bristol is one of the best places to live in the UK.

Discussion questions

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Do you take after your mother or your father? In what way?
  • If or when you have children, do you hope they take after you? Why/why not?

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