The title says it all really, but I'll repeat it again here.

  • Does a person see their reflection IN or ON a mirror?

I'm tempted to say the former but somewhere in my head a voice is telling me that the image (the reflection) is on the surface of the glass, not in it. The surface of a glass is flat and impenetrable so how can anything be reflected from the inside? Still...

Please provide examples and/or references that support your answer. Thank you.


IN the mirror, because what we see seems to come from inside the mirror

  • 1
    I don't think that's the reason. We also say "in the picture", "in the photo", "in the painting", "in the drawing", "in the comic strip", "in the newspaper"... – rjpond Aug 23 '17 at 17:48

We say "in the mirror".

Like many common phrases, you could make a logical or technical argument why we should say something differently. But what people actually say is "in the mirror", whether you think that makes logical sense or not.

Look at Google Ngram: Occurrence of "reflection on the mirror" is just about zero.

enter image description here


There was a smudge on the mirror.

She looked at her face in the mirror.

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