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  1. #1
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default Dinner or supper?

    Right, on to this old chestnut. If you are talking about your evening meal, usually after you get home from school or work, do you say dinner or do you call it supper?

    Where I come from (UK; near London) almost no one says supper, they call it dinner. Supper is usually the snack you eat just before going to bed (I remember my mum saying to me as a kid "Time for supper, then up to bed").

    When I teach here in China though, almost everyone calls it supper. One child told me today "My teacher said 'dinner' is what you eat at a restaurant, and 'supper' is what you eat at home"

    As far as I'm concerned (and my teaching here), whether you call it dinner or supper is down to personal preference; i.e. whatever you were taught as a kid. No one ever sat me down and told me any rules concerned with the naming of meals!!

    Actually, when I was a nipper (small child), I seem to remember two different naming conventions thus:

    Breakfast > Lunch > Dinner

    OR

    Breakfast > Dinner > Tea

    Both of those systems used supper as a name for the pre-bedtime snack.

    Weird, huh??!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dinner or supper?

    I agree Shane. When I was growing up we had breakfast, lunch and dinner. But then on Sundays we had dinner at lunchtime. So, as far as my family is concerned, dinner is the big meal of the day.
    I now live in Spain and here people have a larger meal in the middle of the day and a smaller meal in the evening. In my house we call the midday meal 'dinner' and the evening meal 'supper', because dinner is bigger than supper.
    It will be interesting to hear what others think.

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Dinner or supper?

    I think it's a regional thing. My parents (who both grew up on farms) ate supper. I eat dinner.

    8)

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I agree with Lib that supper is smaller than dinner, but I also think it's the time- it's late. I don't use dinner for any meal before the evening, though many do. I haven't heard 'tea' being used recently, though it was common when I was a child.

  5. #5
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I agree with Lib that supper is smaller than dinner, but I also think it's the time- it's late. I don't use dinner for any meal before the evening, though many do. I haven't heard 'tea' being used recently, though it was common when I was a child.
    I always get confused when I chat to my students online and they ask me "Have you had supper yet?".
    Why do I get confused? Because this is about 4 in the afternoon!!

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Maybe they think your eating habits are in a different time zone.

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    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Maybe they think your eating habits are in a different time zone.
    Heh. Like it 8) :wink:

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    If one can leave one's heart in San Francisco, the stomach shouldn't be much of a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    If one can leave one's heart in San Francisco, the stomach shouldn't be much of a problem.
    LOL!

    8)

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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