You’ve most likely heard various words to refer to the various meals of the day in Japanese. But just how do they differ? Read below to learn what words job-related much better in what situations!


Breakfastin Japanese

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Breakquick is the many essential meal of the day, and also that applies in Japan too. While fewer folks nowadays eat the traditional rice, grilled fish, nattō, raw egg, pickles, and also miso soup breakfast, the meal is still necessary enough to warrant numerous lexical items.

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1. 朝ご飯 (Asagohan): Standard Way to Say Breakfast

This is the most widespread way to say “breakfast” in Japanese, the word you’ll learn initially if you take Japanese classes. You have the right to usage it in casual conversations through household and also friends.


Examples:

1. 朝ごはんはコンビニで買います。(asagohan wa konbini de kaimasu.)I buy breakfast at the convenience store.

2. 朝は忙しいので朝ごはんはコーヒーだけです。(asa wa isogashii node asagohan wa kōhī dake desu.)I’m busy in the morning, so I just have coffee for breakrapid.


2. 朝食 (Chōshoku): More Formal Expression

This is a more formal word, generally provided in service cases. For instance, hotels will certainly sell discounts for appointments that are 朝食付き (ちょうしょく つき: with breakfast).


Examples:

1. 朝食は何時からですか?(chōshoku wa nanji kara desu ka?)What time carry out you begin serving breakfast?

2. 朝食は和食だけですか、それとも洋食もありますか?(chōshoku wa washoku dake desu ka, soretomo yōshoku mo arimasu ka?)Do you have actually just Japanese style breakquick, or perform you have western style breakfast too?


3. 朝飯 (Asameshi): Slang/Masculine Way to Say Breakfast

This is the informal and almost unstable way to refer to breakquick. It works well as slang to use among your friends and is frequently supplied by men. Although the original meaning of めし is food or meal, it is currently even more generally provided as slang for food.


Examples:

1. 朝飯食って来なかったから腹減った。(asameshi kutte konakatta kara hara hetta)I didn’t have breakfast so I’m hungry.

2. 朝飯まだ?(asameshi mada?)Breakfast is not prepared yet?


4. モーニング (Mōning): Most Used to Refer to Breakrapid Sets at Restaurants

This word is provided to refer especially to a deal readily available at Japanese coffee shops in the morning, wright here, for the price of a drink, you likewise obtain toast, a hard-boiled egg, or various other light breakquick items. Not bad!

あのお店のモーニングはたった500円だよ。(ano omise no mōning wa tatta 500en da yo.)The morning (breakfast deal)at that restaurant is just 500yen.

明日は早起きしてモーニングを食べに行こう。(ashita wa haya oki shite mōning o tabe ni ikō)Let’s gain up beforehand and also go acquire mōning tomorrow.


Lunchin Japanese

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From kyūshoku at school to bento on the shinkansen, your midday meal likewise has a few different monikers.


1. (お) 昼ご飯 (Hirugohan): Standard Word for Lunch

Like 朝ご飯 (asagohan)、this is the the majority of widespread word offered for “lunch.” You deserve to add the お to be polite, or you have the right to say 昼ご飯 to people you are cshed to.


Examples:

1. お昼ご飯はいつも一人で食べます。ohirugohan wa itsumo hitori de tabemasu.)I always eat my lunch alone.

2. 昼ご飯を食べ過ぎたせいで眠くなった。(hirugohan o tabe sugita sei de nemuku natta.)Because I had actually a large lunch, I’m sleepy currently.


3. 昼食 (Chūshoku): More Formal Word for Lunch

This is the more formal word offered to describe your midday meal. You might have 昼食 with your business clients to discuss important matters!


Examples:

1. 田中部長は昼食に出かけました。(Tanaka buchō wa chūshoku ni dekakemashita.)The manager, Mr. Tanaka went out for lunch.

2. 昼食の後すぐに会議だそうです。(Chūshoku no ato sugu ni kaigi da sō desu.)I heard tright here will certainly be a meeting right after lunch.


4. ランチ (Ranchi): Loan-Word for Lunch

This is カタカナ (katakana) for “lunch.” This is also used frequently in both formal and informal situations. You can find this provided by a restaurant to refer to their ランチセット (ranchi setto: lunch set).


Examples:

1. あのお店のランチは人気があって、いつも沢山の人が並んでいる。(ano omise no ranchi wa ninki ga atte itsumo takusan no hito ga narandeiru)Lunch is renowned at that restaurant and I always view a line of human being waiting outside of the restaurant.

2. 時間があるときに一緒にランチでもどう?(jikan ga aru toki ni isshoni ranchi demo dō?)How about we obtain lunch together when we have time?


Dinner in Japanese

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Like “dinner” and also “stop,” nuanced distinctions exist among Japanese terms that refer to your evening meal.


1. 夜ご飯 (Yorugohan): Probably the Most Commonly Used Word for Dinner

While tright here are many words for dinner in Japanese, 夜ご飯 (yorugohan) is most likely provided the many. Of course, various other words may be even more popular in some areas in Japan, however you can’t go wrong with saying yorugohan if you desire to talk around dinner.


Examples:

1. 夜ご飯はいつも7時頃に食べます。(yorugohan wa itsumo shichi-ji goro ni tabemasu.I typically eat dinner approximately 7:00.

2. 夜ご飯を食べてすぐに寝るのは体に良くないよ。(yorugohan o tabete sugu ni neru no wa karada ni yokunai yo.)It’s not excellent for your body to go to bed shortly after eating dinner.


2. 晩ご飯 (Bangohan): Anvarious other Word For Dinner

The identical of 朝ご飯 and(お)昼ご飯、this is the a lot of widespread way to say “dinner.” Like(お)昼ご飯、the optional お (o) adds a level of formality. You have the right to use it via household and also cshed friends.


Examples:

1. 今日の晩ご飯はカレーライスだよ。(kyō no bangohan wa karē raisu da yo.)Today’s dinner is curry over rice.

2. 晩ご飯が済んだらお風呂に入る。(bangohan ga sundara ofuroni hairu.)I take a bath after dinner.


3.(お) 夕飯 (Yūhan): Yet Anvarious other Word for Dinner

A close second to 晩ご飯 is (お) 夕飯 as one more word for “dinner.” In basic, 夕 says evening, a time once day transforms to night. In comparison, 晩 says nighttime, later than suncollection and also twilight.


Examples:

1. 田中さんの家でお夕飯をごちそうになりました。(Tanaka-san no ie de oyūhan o gochisou ni narimashita.)I had dinner at Tanaka-san’s house.

2. 仕事帰りに夕飯の材料を買って帰る。(shigoto gaeri ni yūhan no zairyō o katte kaeru.)After work, I pick up some ingredients for dinner on my way residence.


In actual consumption, both 晩ご飯 and also (お) 夕飯 refer to the major meal of the day that is eaten at night, and they have the right to be provided in equivalent situations, though (お) 夕飯 can sound even more organic via human being that are not your household.


4. 夕食 (Yūshoku): A More Formal Way to Say Dinner

Comparable to 朝食 (chōshoku) and also 昼食 (chūshoku)、夕食 is more formal. You have the right to invite your work-related colleagues (who may not necessarily be your friends) to have 夕食 together.


Examples:

1. この薬は夕食の後に飲んでください。(kono kusuri wa yūshoku no atoni nonde kudasai.)Please take this medicine after dinner.

2. 夕食が済んだらみんなでゲームでもしましょうか?(yūshoku ga sundara minna de gēmu demo shimashō ka?)Would you like to play a game or something after dinner?


5. 夕飯 (Yūmeshi): Slang Word For Dinner

Although created via the same kanji as ゆうはん (yūhan)、ゆうめし is slang reserved for casual conversation. Proper for usage through cshed friends.


Examples:

1. 夕飯、食ったのか?(yūmeshi, kutta no ka?)Did you have dinner?

2. 夕飯までには帰って来いよ。(yūmeshi made ni wa kaette koi yo.)Come earlier by dinner time.


6. ディナー (Dinā): Loan Word for Dinner

This, of course, is カタカナ for “dinner.” You deserve to usage this in many instances, specifically once tright here is a pretense for formality and an air of sophistication or elegance, and also you are eating somepoint that is not Japanese. Your meal at the neighborhood ファミレス (famiresu: household restaurant/diner) would not necessarily qualify as ディナー.


Examples:

1. 今夜は友だちとディナーに行きます。(konya ha tomodachi to dinā ni ikimasu.)Tonight I’m going to obtain dinner via my friend.

2. 昨日は誕生日だったので、ディナーにステーキを食べました。(kinō wa tanjyōbi datta node dinā ni stēki o tabemashita.)It was my birthday yesterday, so I had actually steak for dinner.


7. 夜食 (Yashoku): Late Night Meal/Snack

Although it consists of the word for “night,” 夜食 refers to your late-night snack—once you’re up studying late, or when you’ve come house late after a night of drinking. It often tends to be carbs, such as rice and noodles.


Examples:

1. お母さんが夜食にスープを作ってくれた。(okāsan ga yashoku ni sūpu o tsukutte kureta.)My mommy made me some soup for a late-night snack.

2. お腹が空いたのなら、夜食なんか食べないで寝た方がいいですよ。(onaka ga suita no nara, yashoku nanka tabenai de neta hō ga ii desu yo.)If you are hungry, you must simply go to bed without eating a late-night snack.


Snacks in Japanese

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OK, this isn’t really a meal, however snacks are incredibly essential in Japan. Here are some methods to describe them in Japanese.


1. おやつ (Oyatsu): Standard Word for Snacks

This is the a lot of widespread yet rather childish way to say “snack” in Japanese. 3時のおやつ (san-ji no oyatsu: 3 o clock snack time) is an essential daily ritual for youngsters in Japan! おやつ in Japan normally incorporate points prefer cookies, senbei, or fruit.


Examples:

1. 宿題する前におやつ食べていい?(shukudai suru mae ni oyatsu tabete ii?)Can I have actually a snack prior to I perform my homework?

2. 遠足に持って行くおやつを買いに行った。(ensoku ni motte iku oyatsu o kai ni itta)I saw buy snacks to bring on a school trip.


2. 軽食 (Keishoku): A Light Meal

Literally meaning “light food,” this word describes easy meals favor onigiri, sandwich, and also salad that is consumed to satiate your hunger once you feel choose 小腹が空いた (kobara ga suita: to gain a small hungry).


Examples:

1. この近くに軽食を食べられるカフェはありますか?(kono chikaku ni keishoku o taberareru kafe wa arimasu ka?)Is tright here a cafe that serves light meals?

2. あまりお腹が空いていないので、何か軽食でも食べられればいいですよ。(amari onaka ga suite inai node nani ka keishoku demo taberarereba ii desu yo.)Due to the fact that I’m not that hungry, if I deserve to have some little meal, that’ll be fine.


3. 間食 (Kanshoku): Eating Between Meals

Both a noun and also a verb, this phrase means the food you eat in between the 3 primary meals of the day. 間食 has to be re-evaluated as soon as you are on a diet…


Examples:

1. 痩せたいなら間食は止めた方がいいですよ。(yasetai nara kanshoku wa yameta hōga ii desu yo.)If you desire to lose weight, you must stop having snacks in between meals.

2. 間食にお煎餅を食べました。(kanshoku ni osenbei o tabemashita.)I had rice crackers for a snack.


Older Words

That sounds like a lot of similar-sounding words through minute differences—and also they are! There are additionally words prefer 朝餉 (asage), 昼餉 (hiruge), 夕餉 (yūge) that have a much longer history dating back to the feudal era, but those tend to gain provided even more in fictional works nowadays.


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Satoko Kakihara

Satoko grew up in both Japan and the USA, enjoying the finest of both civilizations. She now teaches the Japanese language, literature, and also culture in The golden state.

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