At the first instance/ glance/sight.

hectacon

Senior Member
Hindi
which is more common,

At the first instance/ glance/sight.

At the first instance/glance/sight his story seemed bogus to me. But later I found out it to be true.
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Yes, "at first glance" is also used, but in my opinion it doesn't suit this context.

    Why not?

    Well, although both "sight" and "glance" have a visual origin, I think we are more likely to extend our use of "at first sight" to contexts where the seeing element is absent (I presume the speaker here did not see "his story", but heard it), whereas we'd keep "at first glance" when there is an actual glance involved.
     

    hectacon

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Yes, "at first glance" is also used, but in my opinion it doesn't suit this context.

    Why not?

    Well, although both "sight" and "glance" have a visual origin, I think we are more likely to extend our use of "at first sight" to contexts where the seeing element is absent (I presume the speaker here did not see "his story", but heard it), whereas we'd keep "at first glance" when there is an actual glance involved.
    Thanks for the clarification. I will keep that in mind.

    let me try,

    At the first glance, the Washing machine seemed fine but later I detected the defect in it.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Don't say "at the first glance". But really neither "at first glance" nor "at first sight" fits your washing machine example very well.
    Sometimes it's better not to overuse such idioms. A simple "at first" is enough, without sight or glance. In fact, that applies even the bogus story example.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Are these two interchangeable here?

    -At first sight, the two laptops are the same.
    -At first glance, the two laptops are the same.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    The probably are, but again I think I would prefer "sight" to "glance" here, or even the simple "at first". It depends on the exact context.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    "At first glance" means you didn't look carefully; you only looked very casually and quickly.

    "At first sight" includes a serious/careful first impression that the person looking got, even though further inspection might reveal more.

    At first sight, the police found no sign of forced entry to the property.
     
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