English Lesson: Articles with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

MichaelADGrammar 6 Comments

English Lesson: Articles with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As I’m sure you know, food is one of my highest joys in life. I especially love breakfast. There is something about breakfast food like eggs, toast, and bacon that makes me feel good. My sister, on the other hand, likes brunch. The brunch at a hotel in town is very good, and we go there once in a while to have it. As for dinner, I like a variety of restaurants. From steak to sushi, I’m happy going out seven days a week…if I could.

The nouns we use for meals (breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and supper) sometimes take an article, and sometimes don’t.  Do you know the rules? Have a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson:

When breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and supper are used to refer to our everyday meals, they is no article.

  • I can skip lunch, but I need to have breakfast each morning.
  • Paul invited me to have brunch at his house on Sunday.
  • What do you usually have dinner?

When breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and supper are used to refer to special events, or set meals at restaurants, then you need to use an article with them.

  • The breakfast at the hotel includes juice, coffee, unlimited buffet, and dessert.
  • Lori said the Sunday brunch at the Plaza is amazing.
  • I was invited to a dinner for Jack’s retirement.

Which is your favorite meal of the day? What do you like to eat for breakfast? What time do you usually eat dinner?
Keep in mind the best way to remember this or any vocabulary in English is to take the word or phrase write it in a sentence that’s true for you or true in your world and then memorize your sentences.

You can even take your sentences and write them in the comments below. I would love to see your examples. And if you really want help with vocabulary, sign up for my free vocabulary workshop (see below).

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!


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Comments 6

  1. Hello Michael,

    Thank you for your quick reply!

    The key ” We often use the have with the usual meals…” makes it easier for me to understand and cleared up my confusion almost, I think.

    It was just difficult for me to distinguish the difference in “LUNCH” within a context, but it is my finding that VERB that goes with “meal words” is the definer.

    I feel much better with “LUNCH” now, thank you Michael!

  2. The brunch in “Paul invited me to have brunch at his house on Sunday.” seems a specific brunch took place at Paul’s house on Sunday, so “Paul invited me to have a brunch at his house on Sunday.” seems right to me according to the rules you explained. Could you explain further? I am Japanese and having difficulties understanding English articles.

    1. Hi Tuck,

      Thans for asking. You can look at breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner 2 ways.

      First they are used to mean the usual meal of the day. This case, there is no article:

      I had a bagel for breakfast.

      We ate brunch before going to the movie theater.

      Second, those words can be used to mean special events or set meals at a restaurant. In my opinion, “Paul invited me to have brunch at his house on Sunday” means Paul invited me to have the usual meal of the day at his house.

      The key point here is the use of the verb “have.” We often use the have with the usual meals: have breakfast, have lunch, have brunch, have dinner. When we use have + these words, there is no “a.”

      If brunch at Paul’s hose is a special even, I should say, “Paul invited me to a brunch at his house on Sunday.” because we can use the pattern INVITE [someone] TO [something]

      I hope that clears things up for you. Feel free to ask me questions any time 🙂

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