I have always taught that to take after when describing similarities was most commonly used when talking about behavior or personality such as, "He takes after his mother. They're both talkative."
In addition to this usage, I teach that it is sometimes used to compare general appearance such as, "I take after my father's good looks."
I don't feel completely confident in the way I present this, so I would like some feedback from you guys. Thanks!
Sorry. I must have not been clear.
When discussing similarities between family members, I always tell my students when using takes after it is more frequently used to describe similar behavior or personality than physical appearance.
If you see the phrase, "He takes after his mother" it's referring strictly to behavior. If you want to describe appearance then adding something like, "He takes after his father's good looks" is necessary.
If you want to describe appearance then adding something like, "He takes after his father's good looks" is necessary.
How do you guys feel about that?
I don't think you can use an object for "take after" apart from the person taken after.
"In his looks, he takes after his father".
To me (and don't take this as authoritative) it means something like "He takes (from the genetic pool) after (in the manner of, following) his father."
or "He takes ..." in the manner that a liver transplant or a plant cutting "takes".
I think it means to resemble in behaviour, personality and/or looks.
You and joy might be right. I haven't heard of it in Australia.
If it just means "resemble", then it should be as common to say "She takes after her daughter". If the daughter resembles the mother, then the mother resembles the daughter. But, I've never heard of this.
It's occasionally heard that "he takes after George Clooney", or "He takes after his dog". This, I believe, is taking poetic licence with the term as it is normally used.