Translation:I read, but not during dinner.
Not always! Correctly speaking Germans would never use it - it certainly jars my ears!
I think während can be followed by either the genitive or the dative-I have always used the genitive case
Let me just clear this up:
In the standard language only the genitive is correct after während, not the dative, so in writing and formal speech one should generally use the genitive. However, in casual speech it is very common use the dative instead, despite it being incorrect, so which one you use there is up to you.
Why is "dem" included in this sentence if we are talking about dinner in general?
Should however be accepted in the place of 'but'? As in 'I read, however not during dinner'
In this context, however sounds a bit elevated in my ears, but it should be accepted all the same.
Picky Picky..... I translated this to be "I read but not during the evening meal" but it was marked incorrect.. oh dear !! back to the drawing board (:-))
No not really. Sondern is only used after a negative statement, and then only to replace an incorrect statement with a correct one. for example," Meine Telefonnummer ist nicht 69765, sondern 69567" or, "Das ist kein Schuh, sondern ein Telefon"
Aber is used when two statements are compatible.. for example, Die Waschmachine ist alt,aber sie funktioniert" , and aber is always used when the first statement is in the affirmative.
In this example, the first statement is in the affirmative "Ich lese" and the second statement is not contradictng the fact that "you read" , but rather simply saying that you don't read at the table. The two statements can co exist. I hope this helps (:-))