What does "those of" mean in this sentence? What is the difference beetwen two sentences?

  1. She met those of a large carpetillar
  2. She met a large carpetillar.

She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.


  • 1
    I've edited. Don't use <br> to make paragraphs. Just use a blank line. The formatting language isn't HTML, it is markdown, and it looks better if you avoid HTML tags as much as possible
    – James K
    Aug 29, 2021 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


The word "those" is a pronoun, and refers to something. It's plural so it must refer to a plural somethings.

Looking at the quote you should realise that it says

Her eyes met those of a large caterpillar.

"Those" refers to "eyes" so this could be paraphrased as

Her eyes met the eyes of a large caterpillar.

With the idiomatic use of "their eyes met", meaning "they looked at each other.

And "She met those of a large caterpillar" is incorrect English.

  • Thank you. Something similar has been on my mind and i want to ask you.<<<<Did you say pig, or fig?' said the Cat. I said pig,' replied Alice; and I wish you wouldn't keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make on quite giddy.' All right,' said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. >>>>. What does "the rest of" mean in this sentence? Source:storynory.com/alice-in-wonderland-chapter-6
    – odur-o
    Sep 1, 2021 at 14:08
  • @James K I don't think you mean "a plural somethings". I'd fix it, but I don't know which one you'd remove.
    – gotube
    Sep 2, 2021 at 16:05

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