what do you have for breakfast/lunch/dinner?

gabofv

New Member
Spanish
how do you ask: what do you have for breakfast/lunch/dinner? I've tried this 你有什么早 /午/晚饭?
 
  • Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Asking a waiter: 你们这儿有什么早餐?
    们, in my opinion, is necessary. 你们 refers to the business establishment as a whole. If you say 你 (without 们), it sounds as if you are asking the waiter a personal question.
     
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    placebonk

    New Member
    Chinese
    yes,just like xiaolijie said.

    1. if you are asking a waiter in a restaurant,you can say: 你们这儿早餐/午餐/晚餐 有些什么?
    the waiter may answer: we have coffee,milk and bacon for breakfast. we have chao-mian for lunch. for dinner, we have steak.

    2. if you are asking a friend about what he had,you can say:你早饭/午饭/晚饭 吃了什么?
    a friend may answer: I had dumplings for breakfast...
     

    piano0011

    Senior Member
    Hokkien
    hey guy!

    Are both the words zaofan and zaocan commonly used words for breakfast? Likewise, can I also use wucan for lunch and wan3can1 for dinner? thanks!
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    Are both the words zaofan and zaocan commonly used words for breakfast? Likewise, can I also use wucan for lunch and wan3can1 for dinner? thanks!
    They are both common, but can1 is more formal than fan4.
    For example, most restaurants would print can1 in their menu. But when you ask a friend about his normal breakfast, you'll say zao3fan4.
     

    SimonTsai

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    I do not see much difference in formality between 早飯 and 早餐. And personally, I prefer 早餐.
    你早饭吃什么?
    That sounds more like 'What did you have for breakfast'.
    What do you have for breakfast?
    I might ask one of my friend, '你早餐吃些甚麼?' (Here can be replaced with 通常; 些 is omissible.)

    In a restaurant, I might ask, '你們早餐提供甚麼?'
    breakfast/lunch/dinner [...] 早/午/晚饭
    breakfast
    the meal that you have in the early or mid- morning; 早餐.​
    lunch(eon) [1]
    the meal that you have in the late morning or early afternoon; 午餐.​
    supper [2]
    the meal that you have in the late afternoon or early evening; 晚餐.​
    dinner [3]
    the main meal of the day; ____.​
    brunch
    the meal that you have in the mid- or late morning; 早午餐.​
    (afternoon) tea [4]
    the snack that you have in the mid- or late afternoon; 下午茶.​

    [1] In English, it is said that lunch and supper are typically light meals. Normally, you would not expect either of them to be a feast. However, such implication may not be found in Mandarin, as far as I know.

    [2] Britons might refer to their bedtime snacks, such as a piece of cake or chips, as supper. When this is what it means, the Mandarin equivalent may be 睡前零嘴, which shall be distinguished from 宵夜, which could be a feast. (To boot, you may get out of bed at midnight and enjoy 宵夜.)

    [2] While '你睡前通常吃甚麼零嘴' works, I would be hesitant to ask, '你睡前零嘴通常吃甚麼'.

    [3] I had been taught for years that dinner equates to 晚餐. It is not until college that I learnt the difference between supper and dinner, which was a big surprise! (English is not my major; I am merely an accounting student.)

    [3] Since dinner may be eaten around noon or at night, what it actually refers to does depend upon context. While 正餐 may be a passable translation of dinner, if asked, '你正餐都吃些甚麼', I may consider both my midday meal and my evening one. (主餐 is certainly wrong; it means the main dish.)

    [4] I cannot find a good Mandarin translation of a high tea.
     
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    Percychen

    New Member
    Chinese-Cantonese
    hey guy!

    Are both the words zaofan and zaocan commonly used words for breakfast? Likewise, can I also use wucan for lunch and wan3can1 for dinner? thanks!

    早餐(zao3can1),早饭(zao3fan4),早点(zao3dian3) are both widely used in North China,in most cases they are just the same meaning,SuperXW has indicated the differences between them.

    But in South China,especially Canton,Hongkong,Macao... 早餐 is much more common,早饭 & 早点 are rarely seen. There's another word 早茶(zao3cha2) widely used in such districts, which means having a longtime breakfast with tea and Dimsum in traditional restaurant.
     
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