(the) lunch smells wonderful

< Previous | Next >

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Ashlie and Stephen's parents arrive and the mom [smelling what Ashlie's cooked] tells the dad:
- Lunch smells wonderful, dear.
BBC video

Shouldn't it have been the lunch?
Thanks.
 
  • Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    No, that is not right. The names of meals may or (more commonly) may not have articles, depending on the context.

    The hotel will begin serving dinner at six o'clock.
    What do you like to eat for breakfast?
    My favorite lunch is a turkey sandwich.
    BUT
    Will you be at the dinner they are giving for General Smith?
    I think the breakfast they served was delicious..
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    No, that is not right. The names of meals may or (more commonly) may not have articles, depending on the context.

    The hotel will begin serving dinner at six o'clock.
    What do you like to eat for breakfast?
    My favorite lunch is a turkey sandwich.
    BUT
    Will you be at the dinner they are giving for General Smith?
    I think the breakfast they served was delicious..
    I'd say the phrase in question falls into the second category:
    Lunch smells wonderful, dear. = The lunch our children have cooked smells wonderful, dear.
    Am I wrong?
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Yes, you are wrong. "Lunch smells wonderful" by itself does not need an article. If you extended it and said "Breakfast was delicious, lunch smells wonderful, and I can't wait to see what we are having for dinner", it would be odd to try to insert a "the" before any of those meals in that sentence.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes, you are wrong. "Lunch smells wonderful" by itself does not need an article. If you extended it and said "Breakfast was delicious, lunch smells wonderful, and I can't wait to see what we are having for dinner", it would be odd to try to insert a "the" before any of those meals in that sentence.
    The three sentences you gave are different:
    The hotel will begin serving dinner at six o'clock.
    What do you like to eat for breakfast?
    My favorite lunch is a turkey sandwich.
    They are about everyday meal, not specific one. The second sentence contains the prepositional phrase 'for breakfast'. The third uses another determiner -- 'my'. So, could you tell -- why we wouldn't use articles here? What's the reason?
    (The) breakfast was delicious, (the) lunch smells wonderful, and I can't wait to see what we are having for dinner".
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The three sentences you gave are different:
    The hotel will begin serving dinner at six o'clock.
    What do you like to eat for breakfast?
    My favorite lunch is a turkey sandwich.
    They are about everyday meal, not specific one. The second sentence contains the prepositional phrase 'for breakfast'. The third uses another determiner -- 'my'. So, could you tell -- why we wouldn't use articles here? What's the reason?
    (The) breakfast was delicious, (the) lunch smells wonderful, and I can't wait to see what we are having for dinner".
    Try this one: There is only one lunchtime meal today, just as there is only one president of the US at a time. He is president. This is lunch.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Try this one: There is only one lunchtime meal today, just as there is only one president of the US at a time. He is president. This is lunch.
    I thought it's another rule..., that you'd say President Obama -- not because there's only one president of the US at a time, but because it's a unique role/title...
    As I understand now, names of meals (breakfast, lunch etc) can be used with no article even when used specifically -- when they're not specified by a relative clause.
    I mean, both lunches below are specific, but using articles is different:
    Lunch smells wonderful, dear.
    The
    lunch our children have cooked smells wonderful, dear.

    Is this right?
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    He is President Obama because that is a proper name. He is John Smith.
    He is president of the country because the country has one president.
    When you use the pattern:
    someone is president of XXXXX -- it's something having to do with a predicate, as I understand, so you don't use "the". Otherwise, you say "the president of XXXXX".:confused:
    Just two questions:
    1. Are they countable or uncountable here: Breakfast was delicious, lunch smells wonderful.
    2. Is The lunch our children have cooked smells wonderful, dear correct?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top