Nel inglese, cenare si dice o to have dinner o to dine. Fa attenzione al contesto, perché to dine si usa generalmente nelle situazioni abbastanza formale. Non si dice "I dinner"; se dice o I have dinner (di solito), o I am having dinner (in questo momento), o I dine (di solito), o I am dining (in questo momento).
We have dinner at 7.30pm. What about you? (general)
I am having dinner with some friends. Would you like to join us?
The Queen and her guests will dine at 7.30pm. (formal)
The Prime Minister is dining at the palace tonight.
Spero che sia chiaro.
"dinner" opens up a can of worms in English English. I've never eaten dinner in my life. But I do eat supper in the evening. I actually had to check when dinner is eaten as I also eat lunch around midday.
Do you think you need a translation for the translation :-)
It's a bit like trying to learn two languages at once, American and Italian
What words you use really depends upon where you come from, or even what your particular family says. In the States, dinner can be either the midday meal or the evening meal, but more often than not, the evening meal. I grew up saying "breakfast, lunch, and supper". I've lived in different parts of the county and can't remember when, or where I lived, when I started to use the word "dinner". In the States, television and movies also played a big part in exposing people to different vocabulary words than they might have used in their region. I think our language has become more "homogenized" since the late 1940's and that our regional vocabulary differences have decreased a lot.
Hello Susan and greetings from Australia. My take on this is: Lunch= light or substantial meal at around 12 to 1 pm (urban) , Dinner= substantial meal at around 12 to 1 pm (rural) , Dinner = substantial meal at around 6-8 pm (urban and some rural) , tea = informal for evening meal ( same as dinner but often used to indicate that less trouble will be taken in the preparation) , morning and afternoon tea = tea or coffee with a cake/scone/muffin/biscuit etc (read cookie for biscuit in the US and Canada I think) , supper = seldom used but means a snack before going to bed (bad idea !) If we invite people around for tea, they will expect a modest meal of plainish food, if we invite people around for dinner it usually involves pre-dinner drinks with antipasto/cheeses/ dry biscuits in comfortable chairs followed by entree at the dinner table (small serve of something) followed by main course, followed by sweets or pudding as we sometimes say. This is making me hungry. Time for morning tea!
In America, we commonly interchange supper with dinner as they mean the same thing. I think supper was the old way of saying it and dinner is the common way to say it. Google even has a graph on it:
Although I have listed the Italian nouns below with their articles, this is just to help with vocabulary acquisition. In practice, nouns can be found without articles.
la cena - dinner / supper
cenare - to have dinner / supper, to dine ( to eat dinner / supper)
la colazione (sometimes la prima colazione) - breakfast
fare colazione - to have breakfast (to eat breakfast)
il pranzo - lunch
pranzare - to have lunch (to eat lunch
il pasto - meal (be careful not to confuse this with la pasta - pasta, dough, pastry!)
il mangiare - food
il cibo - food
mangiare - to eat - general verb; it is also used in lots of Italian idioms (see the dictionary entry for mangiare below)
il piatto - dish or course
lo spuntino - snack
fare uno spuntino - to have a snack
la merenda - afternoon snack
far merenda - to have an afternoon snack
It is worth remembering that there are regional variations in English regarding the use of the names for different meals. There are also many variations in Italian. However, I hope that I have captured the main vocabulary usage here.
I hope that this is useful. If any of our Italian friends find any errors, please tell me.
Buon appetito! (I don't know about anyone else, but I'm hungry now...)
It's been a while since I practiced my Italian and I was wondering if the definite article could sometimes be used to refer to something as a concept like in French. For instance, could "la cena" refer to dinner as a concept in Italian like how "la viande" in French could refer to the idea of meat?