he takes a photo of her


How would you say "he takes a photo of her". Rosetta Stone uses this phrase which I have some doubts about: tā zài gěi tā zhàoxiàng 他在给她照相 That seems to translate to "he gives her photo". Google translate (yeh, right) gives this translation for (he takes a picture of her): tā bǎ tā de zhàopiàn 他把她的照片 Is it the case that "gěi ... zhàoxiàng" means to take a photo of something?

nóng fū

My expert says gěi "somebody" zhàoxiàng is correct in China. In Taiwan people say bāng "somebody" zhàoxiàng. zhàopiàn is a noun. So, the Google translation implies that a photograph is being given to a person. The first case is of a photograph being taken of a person.


Thank you for the explanation. One of my wife's relatives from Guangdong Province suggested bāng "somebody" zhàoxiàng so maybe this is a Southern China variant as well. The Google translation "tā bǎ tā de zhàopiàn" seems more messed up the more I look at it. This sentence seems to be lacking a verb. It has a subject (tā) and an object (bǎ tā de zhàopiàn) but no verb.


I wonder if another way to say that would be Tā pāi tā (de) zhàoxiàng 他拍她(的)照相 In this sentence, I'm not sure if xiàng is required either


I am wondering if 照 (zhào) is a verb that requires an object. In this case, 相 (xiàng) may be serving as its dummy object. Other more common verbs requiring dummy objects are 吃 (chī) and 走 (zǒu). You would never say those without some object and for lack of one, one says 吃饭 (chīfàn) and 走路 (zǒulù).


大家好! Sorry for the late reply, I am back working from China and internet restrictions here are stricter and stricter. Robert, the Rosetta Stone phrase is useable but to be honest seem maybe a wee bit awkward. I would tend to say something more like: 他正在给她拍照(or 照相 if you prefer )。And yes, you are right about the verb structure, 照 is not a verb that can appear by itself. Hmm, the google translate version is not good. As you pointed out the sentence omits a verb entirely. I would stick with the above phrase. Although, when traveling in China you may find Chinese jump at the chance to take photos for and with you and may not even have to ask :) Keep up the good work! - Lin Ping


Thank  you!!

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