October 07, 2006

Confused By meals

Writing about web page http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1535_questionanswer/page2.shtml

The expressions do relate to the time of day that you eat the meal and the type of food and the size of the meal. That’s why it can get confusing.

First of all, breakfast. This is simplest; it’s the first meal of the day in the morning.
In the middle of the day, you might have lunch or dinner. Lunch sounds more informal or more typical, particularly for people who are working.

In the evening, you might have dinner or supper. I think that people who have a quick lunch in the middle of the day will say they have dinner in the evening and this dinner will be a good meal.

A supper is usually a light meal and is probably had after a larger dinner has been had in the middle of the day.

Confused? Well most people see a dinner as a more complete meal. A common lunch in England is a sandwich, but dinner might include soup, meat with vegetables, and then a dessert like apple pie and ice cream. So, dinner is really the main meal and people might have it in the middle of the day or in the evening. Lunch and supper are both light kinds of meal. Lunch is in the middle of the day, supper is in the evening.

Now I mentioned there are some other meals. We talked about breakfast. Two more words that you could add to your list are brunch and tea. Brunch is a mixture of breakfast and lunch, as you can tell by the sound of the word: ‘brunch’. And people usually have brunch as a replacement for both lunch and breakfast. Brunch is usually had at about 11 o’clock.

And the final word is tea. Now of course this is a drink, like tea and coffee, but it can also be a light evening meal. I think this word is often used in families, particularly with their children. “It’s tea time”, “It’s time for tea!” This means their small evening meal.

To finish, it is of course unusual to have breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, tea and supper all in one day. But let me tell you, not impossible. And from that comment you’ll understand that I have the ideal physique and dietary habits for radio and the internet and not for TV.


- 2 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Mathew Mannion

    Usually it’s breakfast, lunch then dinner, or breakfast, dinner and tea (dinner is the main meal of the day). Supper isn’t really an evening meal as much as a before-bedtime snack, and it’s definitely after dinner or tea… Thinking about it, it is a little confusing :) And of course, there’s brunchfast, the meal between breakfast and brunch…

    07 Oct 2006, 11:00

  2. The scandinavians and the Germans do it best…bread in the morning, bread in the evening, big main meal middle of the day. So much healthier than stuffing onesful full of food a couple of hours before slumber. Does dreaming really need so much energy…?

    07 Oct 2006, 11:42


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