"Lei portava gli occhiali."
Translation:She was wearing glasses.
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Margaret-Anne: I first read 'optimist' which made me think you were hoping DL would someday finally revise its very short-sighted policy against UK English; realizing then you'd said 'optometrist' of course is from my point of view a game-changer and so to do my part to avoid turning this question into a spectacle, given how glassy-eyed I for one have become, I say, let's encourage DL to call them all three and hope that #1 DL finally sees the merit in the UK preferred term and accepts 'spectacles' and #2 refrains from introducing any sentence in the future involving monocles, contact lenses, lorgnettes, pince-nez, or worse eye-patches. As an afterthought, I agree with you that people would generally refer to 'them' as glasses (if not spectacles) rather than 'eyeglasses' and yet it's interesting that the case that holds them would never be called a 'glasses case' but an 'eyeglass' case (sg) though the plural 'eyeglasses" case is also used, perhaps even 'spectacles case"?.
robowalker2: No, I don't think so. If given 3 choices involving eyeglasses and told to choose the MOST likely solution and the MOST logical choice between: a) she was taking eyeglasses b) she was bringing eyeglasses & c) she was wearing eyeglasses, then I suspect 99 out of 100 people would choose c. My point being why go out of your way to choose an answer which while possible, even logical, isn't the most likely solution?
How do I tell the difference between "she was wearing glasses" and "she used to wear glasses" ? In context, these could be very different. For example, if I were reading a story about someone, and it said "Lei portava gli occhiali" how would I know if she still was?
Context is not needed in this situation. "Used to wear" implies that she no longer needs to wear, which means presently she is not wearing them. "Was wearing" would refer to a more immediate past. For this one then it would not be known if she still wears them or not (eg. She could have switched to contacts temporarily).
I am fairly certain that when talking about an article of clothing or something commonly worn the possessive can be omitted (is implied). Omission is only allowed if the thing is the main object of the verb. I tried here because I think her is implied here, or certainly could be, given the correct context.
felizfortytwo: Hard to answer, but sometimes foreign languages -- and I'm obviously referring to Italian, but also German with which I'm familiar -- will use articles differently than English does; sometimes they'll include them where English wouldn't and vice versa. I think the best policy is to try to notice where articles are or are not used so you'd express yourself correctly in Italian but then translate sentences into English in a way that sounds natural, including or omitting the article as you see fit. This may not result in 2 sentences that are identical word for word, but in my opinion that's ok.
Personally I think that in general conversation spectacles would never be used. At 71 I have an extended family who have always worn glasses. My children, in their 30's would never use spectacles in general conversation. It's like saying automobile instead of car - very antiquated.