You’ve more than likely heard different words to refer to the assorted meals the the day in Japanese. Yet how execute they differ? Read listed below to find out what words work much better in what situations!


Breakfastin Japanese

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Breakfast is the most essential meal the the day, and also that applies in Japan too. While under folks nowadays eat the classic rice, grilled fish, nattō, life egg, pickles, and also miso soup breakfast, the enjoy the meal is still important sufficient to warrant several lexical items.

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1. 朝ご飯 (Asagohan): Standard way to speak Breakfast

This is the many common means to speak “breakfast” in Japanese, the word you’ll learn first if you take Japanese classes. You have the right to use it in casual conversations through family 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 purchase breakfast in ~ 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 ns only have actually coffee for breakfast.


2. 朝食 (Chōshoku): an ext Formal Expression

This is a more formal word, commonly used in company situations. For example, many hotels will market discounts for reservations that room 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 perform you start 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 only Japanese layout breakfast, or perform you have actually western layout breakfast too?


3. 朝飯 (Asameshi): Slang/Masculine method to speak Breakfast

This is the informal and virtually rough method to refer to breakfast. It works well together slang to use amongst your friends and is regularly used through men. Although the original meaning of めし is food or meal, that is now an ext commonly offered 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 ns hungry.

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


4. モーニング (Mōning): most Used to describe Breakfast Sets in ~ Restaurants

This native is supplied to refer specifically to a deal offered at Japanese coffee shops in the morning, where, for the price the a drink, you likewise get toast, a hard-boiled egg, or various other light breakfast items. No 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 early and 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 because that Lunch

Like 朝ご飯 (asagohan)、this is the most usual word provided for “lunch.” friend can include the お to it is in polite, or you can say 昼ご飯 to world you room close 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 having 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 huge lunch, i’m sleepy now.


3. 昼食 (Chūshoku): much more Formal Word for Lunch

This is the an ext formal word offered to refer to your midday meal. You could have 昼食 with your service clients to talk about 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 there will certainly be a meeting ideal after lunch.


4. ランチ (Ranchi): Loan-Word for Lunch

This is カタカナ (katakana) because that “lunch.” This is likewise used generally in both formal and also informal situations. You might find this used by a restaurant to refer to their ランチセット (ranchi setto: having 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 famous at that restaurant and I constantly see a line of people waiting exterior 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 as soon as we have actually time?


Dinner in Japanese

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


1. 夜ご飯 (Yorugohan): more than likely the Most typically Used Word because that Dinner

While there are many words for dinner in Japanese, 夜ご飯 (yorugohan) is probably used the most. Of course, various other words might be much more popular in some areas in Japan, but you can’t go wrong with saying yorugohan if you want to talk about 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 normally eat dinner roughly 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 great for your body to walk to bed quickly after eat dinner.


2. 晩ご飯 (Bangohan): an additional Word for Dinner

The equivalent of 朝ご飯 and(お)昼ご飯、this is the most common method to to speak “dinner.” Like(お)昼ご飯、the optional お (o) adds a level the formality. You have the right to use it v family and also close 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 it a bathtub after dinner.


3.(お) 夕飯 (Yūhan): Yet one more Word for Dinner

A close 2nd to 晩ご飯 is (お) 夕飯 as an additional word for “dinner.” In general, 夕 says evening, a time once day turns to night. In contrast, 晩 suggests nighttime, later on than sunset 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 actually dinner in ~ 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 because that dinner ~ above my method home.


In actual usage, both 晩ご飯 and also (お) 夕飯 describe the main meal the the day that is eaten at night, and they can be offered in comparable situations, though (お) 夕飯 might sound much more natural with human being who room not her family.


4. 夕食 (Yūshoku): A an ext Formal means to say Dinner

similar to 朝食 (chōshoku) and 昼食 (chūshoku)、夕食 is more formal. You deserve to invite your work-related colleagues (who might 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 it this medication 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 prefer to beat a video game or something after ~ dinner?


5. 夕飯 (Yūmeshi): Slang Word for Dinner

Although written with the same kanji together ゆうはん (yūhan)、ゆうめし is slang booked for casual conversation. An ideal for use with close 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 do ni wa kaette koi yo.)Come back by dinner time.


6. ディナー (Dinā): Loan Word for Dinner

This, the course, is カタカナ because that “dinner.” You deserve to use this in countless situations, an especially when over there is a pretense for formality and also an waiting of sophistication or elegance, and you are eating something the is not Japanese. Your meal at the local ファミレス (famiresu: household restaurant/diner) would certainly 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 come dinā ni ikimasu.)Tonight i’m going to acquire dinner with 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 to be my date of birth yesterday, for this reason I had actually steak because that dinner.


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

Although it consists of the word for “night,” 夜食 describes your late-night snack—when you up studying late, or when you’ve come house late ~ a night the drinking. It has tendency to it is in carbs, such together 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 part soup because that 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, friend should simply go come bed without eating a late-night snack.


Snacks in Japanese

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OK, this isn’t really a meal, but snacks are very important in Japan. Below are some means to refer to them in Japanese.


1. おやつ (Oyatsu): typical Word because that Snacks

This is the most common yet somewhat childish means to say “snack” in Japanese. 3時のおやつ (san-ji no oyatsu: 3 hour snack time) is an important daily routine for kids in Japan! おやつ in Japan usually include things 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 before I execute 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 checked out buy snacks to lug on a school trip.


2. 軽食 (Keishoku): A irradiate Meal

Literally definition “light food,” this word refers to simple meals favor onigiri, sandwich, and also salad the is consumed to satiate your hunger as soon as you feel like 小腹が空いた (kobara ga suita: to acquire a little 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 over there 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.)Since I’m not that hungry, if I have the right to have some little meal, that’ll it is in fine.


3. 間食 (Kanshoku): Eating in between Meals

Both a noun and a verb, this phrase way the food friend eat in between the three key meals of the day. 間食 has to be re-evaluated when you space 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 should 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 actually rice crackers for a snack.


Older Words

That sounds choose a the majority of similar-sounding words v minute differences—and lock are! there are additionally words prefer 朝餉 (asage), 昼餉 (hiruge), 夕餉 (yūge) that have a longer history dating earlier to the feudal era, however those often tend to obtain used an ext in fictional functions nowadays.


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Satoko Kakihara

Satoko flourished up in both Japan and the joined States, enjoy it the finest of both worlds. She currently teaches the Japanese language, literature, and society in California.

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