"Cups and plates are tableware."
Translation:Чашки и тарелки — это посуда.
Стака́н is usually made of glass and has no handle.
Here's an illustration:
how would I tell the difference for translation purposes without context "cup of tea" vs "cup of water" or maybe Стака́н should more represent "glass"?
Yes, «стакан» is usually translated as 'glass'.
- cup of water = ча́шка воды́,
- cup of tea = ча́шка ча́я / ча́шка ча́ю,
- glass of water = стака́н воды́,
- glass of tea = стака́н ча́я / стака́н ча́ю (to drink this, you'd probably need a glass holder — подстака́нник, otherwise the стакан will get too hot; unless you're drinking cold tea, but it's not popular in Russian-speaking world)
Is the это needed in this sentence or is it optional? (I am doing the pick an option exercise so I cannot test it)
This sentence sounds very unnatural without «это».
I have never heard the word "tableware", even after 30 years of American and some international English. I am a native speaker. Posuda is "dishes" or even "kitchenware" which is less specific