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Old November 03, 2009, 12:23 PM
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British English: cena

Is it correct if I use the word "supper" in British English instead of "dinner". Is this a word commonly used or "dinner" would be more suitable?

Thanks
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Old November 03, 2009, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
Is it correct if I use the word "supper" in British English instead of "dinner". Is this a word commonly used or "dinner" would be more suitable?

Thanks
Oh Dear. English society.

Supper is less formal than dinner, but always in the evening.

Upper classes have
breakfast;
lunch (midday);
Tea (16.00-17.00) Cup of tea with a cake or sandwich,
Dinner, (formal evening meal) or Supper (less formal)


Working Classes have
breakfast,
dinner (midday),
Tea (evening meal, usually large)

No supper


Today, the distinction between the classes is not so clear. I have friends who say they are eating their tea at 19.00, others who are eating their dinner at the same time. Not many people would use Dinner for the midday meal.

I myself never eat tea, I just drink it.

To answer your question, supper is OK for some, but not understood by others. Dinner would always be understood as the evening meal.
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Old November 03, 2009, 12:49 PM
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But you said that working classes took dinner at midday, don't they take lunch?. What's the difference between dinner at midday and lunch?

If I said dinner (cena) to a worker, could it be confused with a dinner at midday?

By the way, I'm a worker, but I take lunch and dinner, never tea

And does somebody "eat" tea?
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Old November 03, 2009, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
But you said that working classes took dinner at midday, don't they take lunch?. What's the difference between dinner at midday and lunch?
No difference, but working classes do not use the word 'lunch' It is dinner, at midday

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Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
If I said dinner (cena) to a worker, could it be confused with a dinner at midday?
Yes, although in context possibly not

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Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
By the way, I'm a worker, but I take lunch and dinner, never tea
Then you are confused.

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Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
And does somebody "eat" tea?
As I said above, Workers say 'Tea' for their evening meal. Upper classes say 'Tea' for a drink late afternoon. Tricky.
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Old November 03, 2009, 01:05 PM
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Ok, thank you again

And no, I'm not confused, not with tea
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Old November 03, 2009, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
breakfast;
lunch (midday);
Tea (16.00-17.00) Cup of tea with a cake or sandwich,
Dinner, (formal evening meal) or Supper (less formal)
desayuno (6 -8am)
almuerzo (12 -2pm)
once (5-6pm)
comida (8-9pm) (cena (more formal 8-10pm))

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I myself never eat tea, I just drink it.
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Old November 04, 2009, 01:26 AM
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That's interesting, I thought it was five o'clock tea

Chileno, what you say "once" we say "merienda". But that word is curious. Do you know its origin? Is this an English word?
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Old November 04, 2009, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
That's interesting, I thought it was five o'clock tea
Jaja. Es como lo del sastre rico. Si no hubiera dicho Kate Fox que todavía hay ingleses que tomen la merienda, diría yo que es sólo una costumbre de hace décadas, pero he descubierto que es mejor creerla.
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Old November 04, 2009, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
That's interesting, I thought it was five o'clock tea

Chileno, what you say "once" we say "merienda". But that word is curious. Do you know its origin? Is this an English word?


I was going to explain that one, but I decided not to. And now you are asking. This is funny, as you will discover soon enough...

When Spain dominated South America, the soldiers would like in the afternoon to take (drink) some "aguardiente", but as you can imagine it was forbidden. The word aguardiente has eleven (once) letters so they would cue themselves at around 5 to 6pm for a drink.
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Old November 04, 2009, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chileno View Post


I was going to explain that one, but I decided not to. And now you are asking. This is funny, as you will discover soon enough...

When Spain dominated South America, the soldiers would like in the afternoon to take (drink) some "aguardiente", but as you can imagine it was forbidden. The word aguardiente has eleven (once) letters so they would cue themselves at around 5 to 6pm for a drink.
That's curious! Thanks, Chileno
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