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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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  #2  
Old November 03, 2009, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
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, 02:48 PM
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I can't do better than to quote a quite excellent book of social anthropology:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watching the English by Kate Fox
Dinner/Tea/Supper rules

What do you call your evening meal? And at what time do you eat it?
  • If you call it 'tea' and eat it at around half past six, you are almost certainly working class or of working-class origin. (If you have a tendency to personalise the meal, calling it 'my tea', 'our/us tea' and 'your tea' - as in 'I must be going home for my tea', 'What's for us tea, love?' or 'Come back to mine for your tea' - you are probably northern working class.)
  • If you call the evening meal 'dinner', and eat it at around seven o'clock, you are probably lower-middle or middle-middle.
  • If you normally only use the term 'dinner' for rather more formal evening meals, and call your informal, family evening meal 'supper' (pronounced 'suppah'), you are probably upper-middle or upper class. The timing of these meals tends to be more flexible, but a family 'supper' is generally eaten at around half-past seven, while a 'dinner' would usually be later, from half past eight onwards.
To everyone but the working classes, 'tea' is a light meal taken at around four o'clock in the afternoon, and consists of tea (the drink) with cakes, scones, jam, biscuits and perhaps little sandwiches - traditionally including cucumber sandwiches - with the crusts cut off. The working classes call this 'afternoon tea', to distinguish it from the evening 'tea' that the rest call supper or dinner.

Lunch/Dinner rules

The timing of lunch is not a class indicator, as almost everyone has lunch at around one o'clock. The only class indicator is what you call this meal: if you call it 'dinner', you are working class; everyone else, from the lower-middles upwards, calls it 'lunch'. People who say 'd'lunch' - which Jilly Cooper notes has a slightly West Indian sound to it - are trying to conceal their working-class origins, remembering at the last second not to call it 'dinner'. (They may also say 't'dinner' - which confusingly sounds a bit Yorkshire - for the evening meal, just stopping themselves from calling it 'tea'.) Whatever their class, and whatever they may call it, the English do not take the middle-of-the-day meal at all seriously: most make do with a sandwich or some other quick, easy, single-dish meal.
I'll stop there.
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Old November 03, 2009, 02:50 PM
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I have a commentary.

The tea get drink instead of eats it...


Perikles said before that the tea is eaten instead of drink it.
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Old November 03, 2009, 03:23 PM
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In the US, dinner is always the evening meal and the word can be substituted with supper. It is the biggest meal of the day usually served between 6 and 9 PM.
Among established wealthy people, supper is a lighter late-night meal - perhaps a light meal after the theater-between 10om and midnight.
Lunch is always in the middle of the day between 12 and 2 pm. In the midwest lunch may start a 11
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Old November 03, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Crotalito, es que según el contexto "tea" puede ser té, merienda, o cena.
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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))

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
I myself never eat tea, I just drink it.
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