Last week I explained about the confusion between dinner and supper. This week I will explore the many words used in the English language to refer to different meals. Most people only use a few of them. Nobody, unless they are morbidly obese, eats all of these meals. It is important to understand that the names used for the different meals varies greatly depending on the person's social background, class, the time of day and the size of the meal.
The most common three meals in American and British English are breakfast, lunch and supper. Although in the UK, the evening meal can also be called tea, or high tea to avoid confusion with a quick cuppa. The word supper may even mean a bite to eat before bedtime. The word dinner is also used to refer to either lunch or supper. The easiest way to explain them all is to make a chart.
by John Larrysson
A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for more than a decade.
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