On Tatoeba I found these translations for "Please don't take pictures here":

Bonvolu ne fotografi ĉi tie.

Bonvolu ne foti ĉi tie.

Bonvolu ne fari fotojn ĉi tie.

Bonvolu ne preni fotojn.

Can "I took two pictures" be translated to "mi faris du fotojn" and "mi prenis du fotojn"?

"Fari foton" is more frequent than "preni foton" on Tatoeba, but I didn't find both in dictionaries and on Tekstaro. Are there examples of use in the literature?

  • I don't advise using Tatoeba for finding example sentences.
    – Vanege
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 21:57
  • @Vanege Why not?
    – grooveplex
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 8:21
  • 1
    @grooveplex Because all good dictionnaries (such as PIV/Vortaro.net and Reta Vortaro) already provide enough exemple sentences from reputable source, while sentences from Tatoeba are often translated from English from anonymous people. Because of that, there are significantly more errors. Also, there is tekstaro.com for searching into a Esperanto corpus.
    – Vanege
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 10:22
  • 1
    As a corpus maintainer of Tatoeba, i'd like to react ;-) Yes, many sentences are added by beginners or by „eternaj komencantoj” but we try to check every sentence and correct as soon as possible. You might also want to check the corpus of Monato (www.monato.net, search engine on the left of the page) which has modern every day language. Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 5:55
  • @PaŭlPeeraerts , please write an answer, not just a comment. I was looking for examples, and now I found it on the Monato's site, as you suggested.
    – Marco
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 13:13

3 Answers 3


Correct me if I’m wrong but I think preni is wrong in this context. Just because English uses take for pictures doesn’t mean Esperanto must too. I see no examples of such use on PIV and the many definitions of preni there seem to convince me that this use is wrong.

I believe

preni fotojn

would actually mean you took the pictures from somewhere (in order to move them to a different place) or just acquired them, and not that you made them, which would be fari.



  • I just edited my answer about this issue.
    – LaPingvino
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 16:14
  • I don't know if "preni fotojn" is wrong, but in practice I think I have heard only "fari fotojn" anyway.
    – Mutre
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 16:15

An alternative is

Mi fotis dufoje.


I would just use Mi prenis du fotojn, but Mi faris du fotojn is definitely correct too, or even more correct and easy to understand by anyone. Preni would literally not be correct, but Zamenhof said that all words can be used both in concrete and abstract sense, and as most languages use this the same way, it's at least permittable.

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