As in the title: Are グラス and ガラス alternative spellings of the same word?

I'm going through a 2級 prep book for vocabulary and it has

ワイングラス = wine glass


ガラスのコップ = glass (for drinking)


窓のガラス = window glass

Are グラス and ガラス the same or do I have to be careful when to use which?

  • AFAIK, ガラス is for the material "glass", while グラス is for the thing that holds a liquid you're about to drink.
    – Xeo
    Nov 15, 2014 at 9:44
  • 1
    I'll just add that the origins are different as well, グラス being from the English, while ガラス is from Dutch 'Glas'.
    – Robin
    Nov 15, 2014 at 11:57
  • @Ash Interesting. And funny how the same word became two different words : ) Nov 15, 2014 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


While people will likely understand you if you mix them up, it's better to use proper one:

ガラス = glass (material)

  • 吹きガラス (glass blowing)
  • ガラスの皿 (glass plate)

グラス = a glass (for drinking)

  • タンブラーグラス (tumbler glass)
  • ワイングラス (wine glass), グラスワイン ([drink] a glass of wine)
  • カクテルグラス (cocktail glass)
  • ミキシンググラス (mixing glass)

~グラス = some other things made from glass, or have "glass" in the English name:

  • サングラス (sunglasses), オペラグラス (opera glasses)
  • ステンドグラス (stained glass)
  • アワーグラス (hourglass)
  • Are these pronounced (in 標準語【ひょうじゅんご】) as ガラス【HHL】, グラス【LHL】, and グラス【HLL】, respectively?
    – rintaun
    Nov 16, 2014 at 0:54
  • 1
    Basically ガラス(0)、グラス(0or1)i.e. ガラス and グラス or グ↓ラス. When they are component of a word compound in the form of __グラス, they have downstep before the last two moras i.e. 吹きガ↓ラス(3)、ワイング↓ラス(4). As for グラスワイン, it's グラスワ↓イン(4).
    – user4092
    Nov 16, 2014 at 6:29

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