Difference between 'Lunch' and 'Dinner' | Lunch vs Dinner

Everyone is accustomed to the words ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’, but in some cultures, there’s no thing as lunch but rather one single meal for the whole day. This is referred to as dinner in some cultures. So, to avoid any sort of  confusions while using the terms ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ this article will explain both these terms in detail and walk you through how the words ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ are different from each other.

Incorrect usage of these terms could lead to lot of unintended meanings that might confuse the audience you are speaking or writing to. To maintain a good repertoire as a fluent speaker of the English language you need to have expertise in usage over the smallest and insignificant of terms in the English language.

Table Summarising the Difference between ‘Lunch’ and ‘Dinner’

Lunch Dinner
Meaning The word ‘lunch’ refers to the part of the meal that’s consumed during the afternoon. The word ‘dinner’ refers to the main meal of the day that’s consumed during evening or at night.
Usage It is used as a noun. It is also used as a noun.
Example We have our lunch at 12 o’clock in the noon. Tony will have chicken soup with bread for today’s dinner.

The above-given table shows that though ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ mean meals that are consumed at different times of the day, they can’t be treated as synonymous and can not be used interchangeably. For students from different cultures who might get confused between these words, the table will help them understand how the words ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ are different from one another. Once they know the difference between these words, they can apply them in the correct context.

The Difference between ‘Lunch’ and ‘Dinner’ – Meaning

While in many places, ‘lunch’ refers to a meal of the day which is consumed during the afternoon, and ‘dinner’ to a meal of the day that’s consumed at night, in many cultures, ‘dinner’ is considered to be the main meal of the day. Some people consume dinner in the evening or even in the afternoon, at times. ‘Lunch’, however, isn’t considered a main/compulsory meal of the day in some cultures. In a few countries, people consume ‘lunch’ in a light way – food that is not heavy for the stomach, and it isn’t considered as important as ‘dinner’. Once students understand this difference, it’ll help them to use the words correctly according to contexts.

Examples of ‘Lunch’ and ‘Dinner’

The following examples will help students understand ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ quite clearly:

Lunch – I had a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch today. (noun)

Dinner – Peter’s family completes dinner by 7 pm and goes to bed at 9 pm. (noun)

Once students understand the basic difference between the words ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’, they can easily apply them in sentences of their own.

‘Lunch’ and ‘Dinner’ – Conclusion

In conclusion, though the words ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ mean a course of a meal in a day, they can’t be used synonymously or interchangeably. This article points out the points of difference between ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ to make it easy for students to use them in sentences. Also, BYJU’S offers various articles on many such ‘Differences Between Two Words’ that students often get confused with.


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