What expressions related to meals do you know? Perhaps they can be grouped like this:
Table. Expressions for eating in English.
But are you sure you know what meaning you put into each of your meals? After all, for example, English and American dinner is really a “lunch”, but what time does this meal take place and in what quantities? Maybe it's more like a Russian dinner or supper? Let's try to figure it out...
Dinner is considered the main meal of the day. It can be taken at noon or in the evening. In both cases, dinner is a “cultural” meal, with the whole family at a large table.
Supper is a lighter meal in the evening. Have you noticed that 'supper' and 'soup', 'sup' have the same roots?
Lunch is the noon equivalent of supper. This meal is less formal than dinner.
The British have strict limits on the timing of each meal. The main ones are three:
- Breakfast - between 7:00 and 9:00,
- Lunch - between 12:00 and 1:30 pm
- Dinner (sometimes called Supper) - The main meal. Anytime between 6:30 and 8:00 pm (i.e. evening meal)
Many would object that such definitions differ not only between the British and Americans, but even within the same country. Here, for example, are the results of a study conducted by the Dialect Survey among 10,661 US residents. Respondents were asked to answer the question: "What is the distinction between dinner and supper?" Here's what came out.
What is the difference between dinner and supper?
- supper - meal in the evening, dinner - at noon. (7.79%)
- supper - write in the evening, dinner - the main meal of the day. (7.76%)
- dinner is more formal than supper (12.12%)
- no difference, both words have the same meaning (34.56%)
- I don't use the word supper (33.14%)
- I don't use the word dinner (0.82%)