You may have know 眼睛 is eyes, and 眼镜 is glasses. They sound quite similar. I get confused when listening to someone say "yanjing". I may not know what the speaker refers to, eyes or glasses. How do Chinese people distinguish these two?

  • Tones and context is needed if speakers with accents. – dan Apr 4 '19 at 4:42

In different city or province people have very different pronunciations, we call it "方言"(dialect),so I don't know the situation in other cities, I'm a beijinger,I can tell how beijingers distinguish these two words.眼睛 the last word 睛 will be light reading, but 眼镜 the last word 镜 will be normal reading, otherwise,beijingers used to add a "er" pronunce in some specific words ,such as眼镜er,but 眼睛 has no 'er' pronunce.

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Can distinguish from its pronunciation, there're four tones in Chinese "PINYIN", the first, the second, the third and the forth. 睛 is the first tone, 镜 is the forth tone.

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普通话 see e.g.bkrs:

眼睛 yǎnjingCL:只[zhī],双[shuāng] context e.g.擦亮眼睛,眼睛发花,眼睛的错觉,闭上你的眼睛,...

眼镜 yǎnjìng CL:副[fù] context e.g.一副新眼镜,戴眼镜,摘下眼镜,把眼镜忘在家里,眼镜蛇,...

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