Context: a conversation about an economics class in high school.
The Chinese Grammar Wiki says "以 A 为 B" means "using/taking A as B", but it still doesn't make sense to me.
Chinese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Chinese language. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
IMO, when 以...为... is used as a verb phrase, it should be translated to "using/taking A as B". For example, 他们以胖为美。== They take fat as beauty.
When it is used as a prepositional phrase, we could use the prepositional word by to interpret.
For example, 以小时为单位 could be simply translated to "by the hour". We are paid by the hour. == 我们以小时(为单位)计费。为单位 could be omitted in this case.
Apparently, in this context, it's a prepositional phrase. So,
one possible translation:
Isn't the demand/request to do the reporting by group?
Here 以小组为单位 could be interpreted as "by group".
An appropriate translation will be:
Aren't we supposed to do the report in small groups?
以小组为单位 literally means working as a unit (in small groups). The wiki is not wrong in translating 以 as 'using/taking'. The phrase simply means we should take 'small groups' as a unit to do the work.
The subject of the verb 要求 has been omitted in this case. Someone has apparently given the instruction to work in groups. That's why the speaker is asking to clarify the status of the instruction.
·这是反问句的一种形式，用“不是······吗”表示事实应该这样。以否定式强调肯定的意思。 Using 不是······吗to express the meaning of certainty. Using a negative form to emphasize an affirmative meaning. 这句话的意思是要求每个小组（选一个代表）发言。The meaning is each group (choose a representative) is asked to speak. ·“单位”是指小组（group）/团队(team).汉语里经常用到它，不要按字面翻译成单位（unit）这个术语。 单位 is refer to group or team, but not jargon unit. ·以···为···这里“以”是把的意思，“为”是当作/作为 也就是把“每个小组”作为“一个团队” 这句话隐含的意思是只要小组的代表发言就可以，不需要每个人都演讲。 The implication of this sentence is that only the representatives of the group speak, not everyone speaks.