Went to bed without (having had) dinner

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Santanawinds

Senior Member
English - USA
I'd like to check if I've gotten a grip of the difference between BE and AE:

A (old?) punishment for kids in the US is going to bed without dinner:

The children went to bed without dinner.

And now that I think about it, it sounds as if the children usually carry their plates of food with them to bed.

Would the BE version be:

"The children went to bed without having had dinner"?

Thanks!
 
  • MirandaEscobedo

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree with Andygc. To make it more explicit that this was a punishment rather than eg because they were so poor that there was no food for dinner: 'The children were sent to bed without any dinner' -- and they certainly wouldn't have been allowed to take their plates of food with them to bed.
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Santanawinds, I see your point, but the usual phrase is "sent to bed without supper" (or dinner). Without having had supper is understood.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    "They were sent to bed without blankets" and "They were sent to bed without dinner" technically have the same structure. However, we also use logic and experience in interpreting sentences. Some of this experience comes from simply living, some from usage in a particular language; however, I don't know many cultures where it is normal to send children to bed to eat their dinner :D
     

    Santanawinds

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I agree with Andygc. To make it more explicit that this was a punishment rather than eg because they were so poor that there was no food for dinner: 'The children were sent to bed without any dinner' -- and they certainly wouldn't have been allowed to take their plates of food with them to bed.
    This is interesting!
    So Grimm's Hansel and Gretel went to bed without having had dinner and naughty children of the world go to bed without any dinner.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'd like to check if I've gotten a grip of the difference between BE and AE:

    A (old?) punishment for kids in the US is going to bed without dinner:

    The children went to bed without dinner.

    And now that I think about it, it sounds as if the children usually carry their plates of food with them to bed.

    Would the BE version be:

    "The children went to bed without having had dinner"?
    What makes you think there's a difference between AmE and BrE here, Santanawinds?:confused:
     

    MikeLynn

    Senior Member
    I just wonder if the "any" would be used here just for the sake of emphasis as I would probably opt for "without dinner", without the article. Thank you for your input.
    M&L
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I just wonder if the "any" would be used here just for the sake of emphasis as I would probably opt for "without dinner", without the article. Thank you for your input.
    M&L
    Yes, the "any" does make the sentence more emphatic, M&L. But I'm still puzzled by Santanawinds' original question:confused:.
     

    MirandaEscobedo

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree that 'any' is used just for emphasis.
    As for 'without having had', in the punishment context, I wouldn't use it: "sent to bed without any dinner" has a kind of familiar formulaic quality in BE. This might be a bit old fashioned, though, as if all children are meant to recognise what happens to naughty children.
     
    Last edited:

    Santanawinds

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Yes, the "any" does make the sentence more emphatic, M&L. But I'm still puzzled by Santanawinds' original question:confused:.
    I'm not a linguist, so I'm not sure why either! Maybe I'm just proof-reading my paper too much and too late at night (which also answers your comment about interpretation, JulianStewart :) ). Basically, when I posted this question I was thinking about how BE uses the pluperfect more than AE, and was thinking along those lines. And emphasis on the children being naughty vs. them being poor helps a lot!
     
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