In Grammar By Victoria

Articles with nouns denoting meals

Before your eyes is another article from the series dedicated to the use of articles in the English language. Now I’d like to talk about the use of articles with nouns denoting meals (articles with names of meals). In this group of words also has its own specific rules and regulations that must be followed.

The main idea: if the articles with nouns denoting meals, no, these nouns were used in its abstract sense. In this case, they are only referred to a particular meal and tied to time. For example:

  • to have breakfast — breakfast
  • to cook dinner — cooking dinner
  • to prepare supper — cooking dinner
  • to serve lunch — serve lunch (brunch)
  • to take tea — tea

I very often invite my friends for tea and supper. — I often invite my friends to dine and drink tea.

If you hurry, you will be in time for dinner. — If you hurry, you have time for lunch.

Let’s arrange a lunch for all your friends. — Let’s organize a lunch for your friends.

When you can see the indefinite article with nouns denoting meals? The indefinite article will appear if this noun will present a descriptive definition.

A European breakfast consists of toast with marmalade and tea or coffee. — European Breakfast consists of a piece of toast with jam and a cup of tea or coffee.

They organized a charity dinner for the homeless. — They organized a charity dinner for the homeless.

Stephen cooked a delicious supper for us last night. — Yesterday evening Stefan cooked us a delicious dinner.

On the first day of the vacation we all slept late and then had a huge brunch. — On the first day of vacation, we woke up late and then very hearty breakfast.

The definite article can also be found with nouns denoting meals. This happens in the context of the situation, or that include limiting the definition. The second option — the food meant itself.

The supper which she cooked was uneatable. — Dinner, which she had prepared, was inedible.

The dinner in the Indian restaurant was very spicy. — Food at dinner at an Indian restaurant was very acute.

I will not eat the breakfast, it’s burnt again. — I will not eat breakfast, he was again burnt.

And maybe that — the names of meals can become countable and designate a soiree or serving.

The guests began arriving for the wedding dinner. — The guests began to arrive at the wedding dinner.

Many celebrities were present at the dinner in the White House. — On the evening dinner at the White House attended by many famous people.

This topic is closely related to the other as described in the articles that need to pay attention:

  • «Article nouns fruit and fish»
  • «Article with the names of diseases»
  • «Article nouns denoting part of the day and seasons»

After reading them, we recommend to pass the following test: «Test # 3 on the use of articles in the English language.»



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