Difference between, food, meal and dish.

Aamir Tariq

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
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Interested in Language
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Urdu
Home Country
Pakistan
Current Location
Pakistan
Meal is something that could either be breakfast, lunch or dinner. When we cook we normally use "food", like "we are cooking food".

Can we say

1, "We are cooking meal",

2. (a) "We are cooking lunch, or (b) we are cooking for lunch",
3. (a) "We are cooking dinner, or (b) we are cooking for dinner".

4. We are cooking dishes.

or

5. What dish are you cooking?
 

emsr2d2

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Jul 28, 2009
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English Teacher
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British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
A meal is something that could either be breakfast, lunch or dinner. When we cook, we normally use "food", like "we are cooking food".

Can we say the following?

1. "We are cooking a meal."

2. (a) "We are cooking lunch." [STRIKE]or[/STRIKE]
(b) "We are cooking for lunch."

3. (a) "We are cooking dinner." [STRIKE]or[/STRIKE]
(b) "We are cooking for dinner."

4. We are cooking dishes. Grammatically possible but unlikely. [STRIKE]or[/STRIKE]

5. What dish are you cooking? :tick:

See above.

"Food" is anything you eat. A "meal" is any single food or collection of foods that you eat and consider it to be a specific event (breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, tea, dinner, supper etc). A "dish" is usually made up of several different foods (cooked or not) and might be just one part of a bigger meal.

Sarah: What food have you got in the house?
John: Apples, sugar, flour, butter and eggs.
Sarah: Great. Can you make an apple pie for after dinner please?
John: Of course.

Helen: How many meals do you usually have in a day?
Ken: Three, normally. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Helen: I have six!
Ken: Six? What do you have?
Helen: Breakfast, elevenses, lunch, dinner, supper and a midnight snack!

Sue: I had the most amazing meal last night.
Pete: Really? What and where?
Sue: I went out for a meal with some friends to that new Italian place on the corner of Wilmslow Road. It was great. There were six courses, and there was a choice of ten different dishes for each course!
Pete: It must have taken you ages to decide what you wanted.
Sue: It did! I had all six courses and I tried fourteen different dishes in total.
 
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