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  1. #11
    Judy Fei is offline Newbie
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    Re: Dinner or supper?

    Once I asked my teacher's friend's home helper, "Is this your supper?", and she said "Dinner". So I'm confused, it was at about 7 pm and her evening meal was very simple, just vegetable salad. Maybe supper is used pre-bedtime.

  2. #12
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    Re: Dinner or supper?

    Shane, since you're teaching English in China, have you noticed a difference that:

    In China, the lunch is the richest one, at which people have not only more food but more nutritious food. And they believe it is a healthy life style to eat less in the evening.

    In North America (I guess in UK it is the same) people don't eat much at lunch time, but rely on the meal in the evening for a full stomach.

    My point is, Chinese think
    1. dinner = chief meal in the day
    2. evening meal <> chief meal

    So they would rather use 'supper' than 'dinner'.

  3. #13
    anupumh's Avatar
    anupumh is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Dinner or supper?

    What is the concept of Supper?
    I read it is something which you eat after your dinner, late in the night..?

  4. #14
    suikerbossie is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Dinner or supper?

    When I was a child in South Africa it was always 'breakfast - lunch - supper'. 'Tea' really was tea with biscuits/cake mid-afternoon if someone came to visit my mother.

    Maybe because my parents were immigrants, dinner tended to mean something more formal: Sunday lunch became dinner, or when we had guests for supper....

    Supper was always the main (evening) meal of the day because shops/offices didn't close at lunchtime.
    And snacks or snacking was unheard of. Now, even Italy is full of 'snacks'.

  5. #15
    Hortence is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Dinner or supper?

    Quote Originally Posted by suikerbossie View Post
    When I was a child in South Africa it was always 'breakfast - lunch - supper'. 'Tea' really was tea with biscuits/cake mid-afternoon if someone came to visit my mother.

    Maybe because my parents were immigrants, dinner tended to mean something more formal: Sunday lunch became dinner, or when we had guests for supper....

    Supper was always the main (evening) meal of the day because shops/offices didn't close at lunchtime.
    And snacks or snacking was unheard of. Now, even Italy is full of 'snacks'.
    It is the same thing in Québec, Canada: breakfast, dinner, supper. Breakfast first thing in the morning, dinner in the middle of the day (12:00), and supper after work, let's say from 6:00 to 8:00. However, I must say that we use more and more "lunch" instead of "dinner" these days, but "supper" is generally use when we speak of the last big meal of the day. Also, we must not forget the countless coffee breaks and snacks, which cut the day between the three large meals and before going to sleep!
    Last edited by Hortence; 13-Sep-2009 at 12:36.

  6. #16
    wace is offline Member
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    Re: Dinner or supper?

    According to all dictionaries, supper is 'a meal eaten in the evening, or a small meal eaten in the late evening'.
    A nice definition that leaves us none the wiser...
    I think, as somebody pointed out, it all boils down to personal preference, family habits or regional usage.

  7. #17
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    Re: Dinner or supper?

    "Dinner" is a rather more formal evening meal, Supper is informal and generally with family and is taken at around half past seven, Whilst "Dinner" would usually be later, From say half past eight onwards.

  8. #18
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Re: Dinner or supper?

    The question may be more cultural than lexical. Supper comes from the French souper which is a light, soup-based meal. Le dîner is the large meal at which we "dine". Some people have dinner at lunch time, e.g. the Italians, while some have it in the evening. People who have dinner for lunch have supper for dinner.

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