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    #1

    Dinner vs supper

    Hello guys.

    I noticed that you (for example) ask a girl for dinner no matter what time of the day the event is going to happen. You usually go out in the evening and in my country you usually ask someone to have "supper" with you. So I noticed that the word supper is rarely used by native speakers I met. Do you use it in the US? In what context?

    Thanks.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Dinner vs supper

    I can't speak for its usage in the US, but in the UK, it means different things to different people. For me (born and bred in the south-east of England), the three main meals of the day are breakfast, lunch and dinner. For some of my friends, from different parts of the UK, the three main meals are breakfast, dinner and tea. Others use breakfast, lunch and tea. Some use "supper" for their evening meal. I do not. For me, supper is a light snack some people eat a couple of hours after their main evening meal. If someone invited me to "supper", I would find it rather odd. I would assume they were inviting me to their house (we don't eat supper at a restaurant), and that I would have to get there at maybe 9pm or 10pm and just have perhaps some bread and cheese, or a biscuit and a glass of milk!

    If a man was asking me out on a date, I would expect to hear "Would you like to go out for dinner with me sometime?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Dinner vs supper

    See also the Similar Threads below.

  2. Jill Dorchester's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Dinner vs supper

    In AmE, "dinner" and "supper" sometimes mean the same thing, and sometimes refers to two different meals. It depends mainly upon what part of the country you're from... for example, my husband is from the South, and in his neck of the woods "dinner" could mean lunch or a late lunch, but the final, big family meal of the day was always "supper." I'm from the Midwest, and we use "dinner" and "supper" interchangeably, although "dinner" is much more common. "Supper" almost has a quaint, folksy sound to it. If you are inviting someone out to a restaurant for an evening meal, you would say "dinner." If you were inviting some friends to your home for a large meal (and wouldn't mind if they brought a covered dish with them), you might refer to it as "supper."

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    #5

    Re: Dinner vs supper

    Wow, thank you so much for such informative answers. That was all I needed.

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    #6

    Re: Dinner vs supper

    I agree with what emsr2d2 said about the UK, though I could use supper for a meal in a restaurant if, for instance, I went to the theatre or cinema and grabbed something to eat in a restaurant afterwards, where it wasn't the main part of the evening but an add-on.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Dinner vs supper

    I grew up in the Midwest and we rarely used "supper".

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Dinner vs supper

    They come from the French, dīner and souper. The latter means to have a light meal, such as soup. It's not so much a variation in vocabulary as cultural practice. In many places, the heavy meal is at noon or just thereafter, and in such places, that is called dinner, and the evening meal, lighter, is called supper. In other places, it's the other way around. Ultimately, there has been some confusion, and now they mean the same thing to many people. It's the meal that is later in the day than both breakfast and luncheon (lunch).

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Dinner vs supper

    There is one thing we all agree on - supper is definitely a meal of some description which is eaten in the evening.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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