Glasses referred to as «it», i.e. singular, by a native speaker of English

Answers · 7

Actually, I didn’t explain that very well, did I. Really it is different for drinking glasses, and a pair of reading glasses, because you can have one glass that you drink out of, and a pair of glasses that you see through is only one. Maybe that can explain it better.

The best answer is the second 1 because the word «these» is intended only for plural nouns and «this» is only for singular nouns. And for additional info., singular nouns use «is or was» and plural nouns use «are or were». So the correct sentence would be the second.

I hope this would help you in choosing the best answer. Thank you.

it’s the same whether you are talking about drinking glasses or glasses that you wear to improve your eyesight. as everyone here has said, these glasses are nice, which can either mean a pair of reading glasses (one only), or drinking glasses, in which case, there are more than one. «It’s a nice glass of water», or «they are nice glasses of water». Sorry, the English language sometimes uses the same word to describe different things.

You have two pieces of glass in a pair of glasses: the lenses. Therefore, you treat glasses as plural.

«These glasses are nice.»

Words like «glasses» (in the sense «eyeglasses», not «drinking glasses») are kind of unusual. I don’t know how useful it is to just call it «countable» or «uncountable», although if I had to choose I would say «uncountable».

You’re asking about several different things here.

These glasses (referring to one pair of glasses) are my favourite!

This is acceptable. «Glasses» triggers plural agreement on other words in the noun phrase. It also triggers plural agreement on a verb that has a noun phrase headed by «glasses» as its subject.

I have quite a few glasses in my drawer, however, my favourite ones are red, dark blue and black.
I have lots of glasses in my drawer.

These aren’t acceptable for me. The first seems worse than the second for some reason. Maybe there are some speakers that would accept one or both, but in general, «quite a few glasses» and «lots of glasses» would be understood as referring to drinking glasses.

I have lots of pairs of glasses.

This is acceptable.

You can say either “What is this?” or “What are these?”; I don’t think it makes much difference. The question doesn’t contain the word «glasses», so I don’t think the plural form is mandatory, but it seems possible.

Sometimes a noun that is plural for some speakers can be used as a singular by others. See this post by a speaker who says “a scissors”: Is «pair of scissors» more correct than «scissors»? (Some nouns have even started as singular and come to be used as plural, like forceps, from a Latin singular form.)

But I’ve never heard “a glasses”.

White wine tendto have a smaller mouth area and a smaller surface area to allow air.

Metal, the most age old material, is widely used in the manufacture of eyeglasses frames.

Google completely forbid owners from reselling or lending their smart ; if they detected them doing so, Google said it can remotely deactivate Glass and not refund the $1,500 price tag.

Two or more contrasting might be poured or melted, one on top of the other, in an open mould to produce blanks for cameo glass plaques and the like.

It prevents the heat outside the car from entering the interior in hot areas and does not let the heat inside the car go out in cold areas.Sales manager of the company elaborated on different types of such they have produced, and said, «Laminate building glass is one of the produced by Kaveh Glass Company.

The Indonesian products especially sheet glass and automotive are highly competitive as they are produced in integrated industry with high technology.

Storage of chemicals and medicines in such container for a long period causes the leaching of alkali from the glass.

Some specific paper topics discussed include the yttria-alumina , transport and relaxation studies of ionic phosphate , stress and strain testing of the strand of E-glass fibers, and convolution models for the dielectric

Lighter red wines, such as a dry rose, can be served in 18- to 22-ounce . Late harvest wines, like the sauternes from France or trock-enbeerenauslese from Germany, can be served in six- to eight-ounce port .

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A new coating that prevents fogging and reflection could one day clear the world of misty mirrors, glaring , and cloudy camera lenses.

Fire and Light recycles glass into distinctive bowls, plates and . The products are made in the U.S.

«At Wheatleigh we use Spiegelau made by a German company.

The word `stemware’ most often conjures images of clinking champagne and fabulous wine glass collections.

Sunergy is a new range of which offers solar control and thermal insulation, combined with low levels of reflection.

4 thermometers * 4 large drinking * aluminum foil * rubber glove * desk lamp * cotton handkerchief * other insulating materials (like a wool sock, Styrofoam packing material, etc.)

I’ve been taught that glasses (as in spectacles i.e. visual aid) are plural. It’s also confirmed by numerous hits on the google (reference 1,
reference 2,
reference 3). In case the multiplicity of the equipment needs to be explicitly emphasized, one can say five pairs of glasses or simply reformulate in an appropriate way.

A: I lost my glasses.
B: It’s right here. It’s right here.
A: I lost my fucking glasses!
B: It’s around your neck.

All the characters are native English speakers and there’s no reason to make a grammatical error in the plot. The movie is subtitled so it can’t be my hearing impediment. I even checked with two alternative sources for subs, all with consistent result.

Naturally, I expected they’re right here and they’re around your neck. What’s up with that?

asked Sep 20, 2020 at 12:28

Konrad Viltersten's user avatar

Konrad Viltersten

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This is a typical mistake, or piece of jibberish.

It’s one example of a billion.

(There is absolutely no special significance, whatsoever, about the taxonomy, origin or mechanics of this particular fuck-up.)

It is kindly described as «a slip of the tongue» or more bluntly «illiterate, ignorant, uneducated screenwriting».

answered Sep 21, 2020 at 17:06

Fattie's user avatar

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«Glasses» are always plural, unless you specifically refer to them as «a pair of glasses» which acts as a collective noun.

  • Some glasses.
  • A pair of glasses.
  • This is my pair of glasses.
  • These are my glasses.

Of course, you can refer to multiple pairs in the plural.

If this were a real-life situation, I’d think that the second person just viewed the pair of glasses, along with the chain or whatever was holding the glasses around the person’s neck, as a singular item. As a written piece of dialogue in a movie, I’m more inclined to think it was either a mistake, or more likely a deliberate use of bad English to imply a lack of language skill by the character.

answered Sep 20, 2020 at 13:28

Astralbee's user avatar

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Koh Elaine

When I am looking for my spectacles and ask, «Where is my pair of glasses?» If my son finds the glasses, what should he say?

«It is here.» OR «They are here.»


Glasses referred to as "it", i.e. singular, by a native speaker of English

you would not normally bother to say ‘where is my pair of glasses?’. You would just say

«Where are my glasses?»
«Here they are!»

It will always be clear from context that you are asking about your spectacles, not a number of glass drinking vessels!


We are definitely supposed to say «bang bang!» in the ball game like that because I’ve just heard it.

Koh Elaine

I agree with you that a native speaker would ask, «Where are my glasses?»

However, from my experience, quite often a non-native speaker will ask, «Where is my pair of glasses?»

If this is the case, what should the reply be if I would like to use ‘it’ or ‘they’?

«It is here» or «They are here.»


Koh Elaine, I do understand your point. ‘It’s here.’ to mean the ‘pair’ and ‘They are here’ for the glasses.

Winning is not everything, but wanting to win is.
Vince Lombardi


As to usage by native speakers, while the term glasses would undoubtedly be No.1 in the hit parade, other terms (i.e. specs / spectacles or, indeed, pair of spectacles / glasses) are not quite ready to be thrown into the trough of archaisms. Angel


Glasses referred to as "it", i.e. singular, by a native speaker of English

Or even «goggles» — though I only use that jokingly (or early in the morning when I wake up and can’t find them).


Glasses referred to as "it", i.e. singular, by a native speaker of English

Koh Elaine wrote:

I agree with you that a native speaker would ask, «Where are my glasses?»

However, from my experience, quite often a non-native speaker will ask, «Where is my pair of glasses?»

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If this is the case, what should the reply be if I would like to use ‘it’ or ‘they’?

«It is here» or «They are here.»

The finder could use either, thinking to respond directly to the specific question asked or using the native-speaker ‘glasses’ as a base.

I can tell you that a native speaker would either answer «they’re here» or, if trying to provide the so-called teachable moment, would reply «your glasses are here».

Nikita Chauhan

Glasses referred to as "it", i.e. singular, by a native speaker of English

Yes,you should use «where are my spectacles» or «where are my glasses» . It seems rather informal than where is my pair of glasses.


Glasses referred to as "it", i.e. singular, by a native speaker of English

Hello .
Welcome to the forum!


I heard in some movies «I lost my glasses» (eyeglasses), but if I insert this word into search, this return some jars, bottles.

Is it wrong?

In a conversation I must use «eyeglasses», or «glasses» is enough?
There is a difference between American and British English?

«I want to buy glasses.»

«I want to buy eyeglasses.»

asked Feb 2, 2015 at 16:05

sumitani's user avatar

The word «glasses» has several meanings. Among them are both eyeglasses and drinking glasses.

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

2 a : something made of glass: as : tumbler; also : glassware

2 c plural : a device used to correct defects of vision or to protect the eyes that consists typically of a pair of glass or plastic lenses and the frame by which they are held in place — called also eyeglasses, spectacles

Usually, the correct meaning is clear from the context.

I can’t read these tiny letters. Let me get my glasses.

We assume the speaker means eyeglasses, because you don’t use drinking glasses to read.

Would you like some water? There are glasses in the kitchen.

We assume the speaker means drinking glasses, because you don’t use eyeglasses to drink.

Sometimes the meaning is unclear from the context, and then we may have to ask for details:

I have to go buy new glasses today.
Do you mean for reading or for drinking?

answered Feb 2, 2015 at 16:22

stangdon's user avatar

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I’m an American speaker, but I’m not aware of any difference in American and British usage here. (See these Google ngrams for «glasses» vs. «eyeglasses»: American, British.)

Generally, «eyeglasses» is uncommon (according to the above ngram links, and my personal experience) but will be understood perfectly. I would expect to see «eyeglasses» used when you need to differentiate between an ambiguous use of «glasses» (which can also mean «drinking cups, made of glass»):

«Have you seen my glasses?»

«Yes, I just filled them up with water.» (This person assumes «glasses» here means «cups»)

«No, I mean my eyeglasses

In fact, there is an old joke:

My grandmother is 90 years old, and she doesn’t need glasses! She drinks right from the bottle.

The first sentence suggests «glasses» means «eyeglasses» (since eyesight degrades with age) and the second sentence reveals that «glasses» actually means «drinking glasses» (since she drinks from the bottle instead of pouring her drink into a glass).

Community's user avatar

answered Feb 2, 2015 at 16:21

apsillers's user avatar

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Of course eyeglasses is unambiguous as compared to glasses as other answers say, but I don’t think it is that common when ambiguity becomes an issue. I think the main difference is that eyeglasses is somewhat archaic/formal and glasses is the usual term today. Words tend to be trimmed over time. Other examples of this kind are the archaic motorcar versus the modern car or aeroplane/airplane versus plane; here too, the former ones in the pairs are unambiguous, but they do not need to be used to for disambiguation.

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answered Feb 2, 2015 at 19:06

sawa's user avatar

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In the UK at least, if you want to avoid ambiguity, you would say «spectacles«, or, more likely in speech but very unlikely in formal writing, the slangy «specs«.

In order of formality awkwardness to a UK speaker, most-uncomfortable-first, I’d put them roughly:

  • Pince-nez
  • Eyeglasses
  • Monocle
  • Spectacles
  • Glasses
  • Specs

apsiller’s suggestion of viewing n-grams is valuable here, since it shows the relative frequency of the words between US and UK, but in the UK at least, it feels to me like «specs» is under-represented because it’s slang, and they’re analyzing books, not speech. But it could be that it’s only a regional slang: American,

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answered Feb 3, 2015 at 7:00

Dewi Morgan's user avatar

Dewi Morgan

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It is really about context:

Put on your glasses.

You would not think about putting on drinking glasses, but eyeglasses, here.

I can’t find my glasses.

Usually a person will say the instead of my, when referring to drinking glasses, but this still could depend on what the person was last doing. Were they searching for something to pour themselves a drink into? Did they last say they were thirsty? Were they looking for drinking glasses that are special and specifically owned by them? If no to those questions, they probably mean eyeglasses, and most of the time, that is what an English-speaker is referring to. That is why we will probably say more often:

Where are the cups?

instead, and most of the time the person says glasses, especially if they wear them, they mean eyeglasses.

answered Feb 4, 2015 at 1:45

vapcguy's user avatar



1. Any of a large class of materials with highly variable mechanical and optical properties that solidify from the molten state without crystallization, are typically made by silicates fusing with boric oxide, aluminum oxide, or phosphorus pentoxide, are generally hard, brittle, and transparent or translucent, and are considered to be supercooled liquids rather than true solids.

2. Something made of glass or other transparent or translucent material, especially:

a. A drinking vessel.

b. A mirror.

c. A barometer.

d. A window or windowpane.

e. The series of transparent plastic sheets that are secured vertically above the boards in many ice rinks.

a. glasses A pair of lenses mounted in a light frame, used to correct faulty vision or protect the eyes.

b. often glasses A binocular or field glass.

c. A device, such as a monocle or spyglass, containing a lens or lenses and used as an aid to vision.

4. The quantity contained by a drinking vessel; a glassful.

5. Objects made of glass; glassware.

1. Made or consisting of glass.

2. Fitted with panes of glass; glazed.

v. glassed, glass·ing, glass·es

a. To enclose or encase with glass.

b. To put into a glass container.

c. To provide with glass or glass parts.

2. To make glassy; glaze.

a. To see reflected, as in a mirror.

b. To reflect.

4. To scan (a tract of land or forest, for example) with an optical instrument.

1. To become glassy.

2. To use an optical instrument, as in looking for game.



(Clothing & Fashion) a pair of lenses for correcting faulty vision, in a frame that rests on the bridge of the nose and hooks behind the ears. Also called: spectacles or eyeglasses


A person’s glasses are two pieces of glass in a frame which they wear to help them to see better.

He took off his glasses.

Who is that girl with red hair and glasses?

Glasses is a plural noun. Don’t talk about ». Instead say a pair of glasses.

Li has a new pair of glasses.

After glasses you use a plural form of a verb. After a pair of glasses you use a singular form.

Your glasses are on the table.

A pair of glasses costs a lot of money.


plural noun spectacles, specs (informal), eyeglasses (U.S.)

kính đeo mắt



() noun

1. a hard usually breakable transparent substance. The bottle is made of glass; (also adjective) a glass bottle.

2. a usually tall hollow object made of glass, used for drinking. There are six glasses on the tray;

3. (also ˈlooking-glass) a mirror.

4. a barometer, or the atmospheric pressure shown by one. The glass is falling.

ˈglasses noun pluralˈglassful noun

the amount that a drinking-glass will hold. Pour in two glassfuls of water.

ˈglassy adjective

1. not showing any expression. a glassy stare.

2. like glass. a glassy sea.

ˈglassiness noun

glasses , meaning spectacles, is plural: His reading glasses are broken .
but a pair of glasses takes a singular verb: A pair of glasses has been found .


kính đeo mắt


n., pl. lentes, espejuelos, gafas;


npl gafas, lentes mpl, anteojos, espejuelos (esp. Carib); lentes or gafas bifocales, bifocales mpl or fpl (fam); gafas or lentes de lectura or para leer; gafas protectoras or de seguridad

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