So formally speaking , the times of day can be expressed as :

早上 上午 中午 下午 晚上

However, I want to know approximately what time can be considered 下午,晚上 etc

Also, when it comes to meals:

Is it more common to say 下午飯 or 中午飯? especially give the fact that usually people don't eat lunch exactly at 12:00 right .

How would I call a late breakfast, brunch, late lunch (but not afternoon tea) in Chinese/Cantonese?

2 Answers 2


question 1 :

approximate time:

   早上 -- 6:00--8:00

   上午 -- 8:00 -- 12:00

   中午 -- 12:00 --14:00

   下午 -- 14:00 -- 18:00

   晚上 -- after 18:00

this my understanding(not formally), and splitted most by work time, i would say most people would agree

question 2:

there are three meals in Chinese(as in the saying : 一日三餐):

    早餐(breakfast) -- 早上 

    午饭(lunch)--- 中午

    晚饭(dinner)  -- 晚上 

question 3:

late breakfast -- there is no such thing(is there a name for it in English?)

brunch --  no such thing 

late lunch -- no such thing(is there a name for it in English?)

we Chinese kind of think this things unnormal, you should be woking during this time (8:00--12:00,14:00--18:00), and if you are eating there must be something wrong with your lifestyle, and we believe it is not good for your health, you should eat regularly.


Brunch in Chinese - from Wikipedia

Chinese word “早午饭” is defined as brunch, “早饭” means breakfast and “午饭” means lunch in Chinese. The combination of “早饭” and “午饭” is “早午饭”, as known as brunch.


I had a late breakfast today. 我今天比較晚吃早饭/早餐 or 我今天早饭吃的比平时晚

I had brunch today . 我今天吃早午饭/早午餐

I had a late lunch today. 我今天比較晚吃午饭/午餐 or 我今天午饭吃的比平时晚

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