On the following, it seems "zu Mittag" does not add any essential information. Isn't

Um wie viel Uhr isst du am Wochenende zu Mittag?

the same as

Um wie viel Uhr isst du am Wochenende?

On my Google translator both seem to translate to

What time do you have lunch at the weekend?

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    Manche Menschen essen auch Frühstück und Abendessen. YMMV. Jan 30, 2021 at 20:10
  • 4
    Google Translator doesn't know German (or, for that matter, any other language). Please read up on how Google translations work, before you use them. Briefly: Google collects documents from the web that exist in two languages and compares them. Google does not take into account that translations may be false, incomplete, or not made by native speakers and therefore stylistically awkward.
    – user47230
    Feb 2, 2021 at 7:53

2 Answers 2


"Zu Mittag" means lunch. So if you add "zu Mittag" to your question, you ask specifically at which time you eat lunch on weekends. Otherwise (without "zu Mittag") you ask generally at which time you eat meals on weekends (including breakfast, dinner, and tea). So your two question are not the same.

Wann essen Sie am Wochenende zu Mittag?

"At what time do you have lunch on weekends?"

Wann essen Sie am Wochenende?

"At what times do you eat on weekends?"

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    Also, when I put the second sentence in Google Translate I get "What time do you eat on the weekend? " -- no mention of "lunch". This is the second time in three days that someone is asking to explain GT when, at far as I can tell, GT isn't making the claimed translations. I'm not sure what's going on with this.
    – RDBury
    Jan 30, 2021 at 4:53
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    Yes exactly, but I don't know whether it is really due to google translator or the use of google translate. Jan 30, 2021 at 6:29
  • As a side note, there's the analog "zu Abend essen" for the evening meal or dinner. But there's no "zu Morgen essen" for breakfast. Also, it's still seen as somewhat of a default case in Germany that the main meal of the day is eaten around noon, and in the evening you eat for example some bread with cheese or cold cuts (regardless of how much reality still adheres to this default). So, in some cases "zu Mittag essen" can refer to the main meal of the day that doesn't necessarily have to take place around noon. Dec 2, 2021 at 15:33

The specification "zu Mittag" explains that the person is asking about lunch. Without it you're generally asking when someone is eating this weekend.

Wann essen Sie am Wochenende zu Mittag?
= When are you having lunch this weekend?

Wann essen Sie am Wochenende?
= When are you eating this weekend?

  • 1
    "Am Wochenende" bedeutet nicht "this weekend", sondern "on weekends"!
    – user47230
    Feb 2, 2021 at 7:51
  • Am Wochenende ist doch Einzahl. "On weekends" wäre An Wochenenden Feb 3, 2021 at 14:24
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    Wann essen Sie am Wochenende zu Mittag? fragt nach einer allgemeinen Angewohnheit: Wann isst die Person an den Wochenenden im Unterschied zu den Wochentagen? Würde man ein bestimmtes Wochenende meinen, würde man fragen: Wann essen Sie an diesem (oder am kommenden usw.) Wochenende zu Mittag? –– Dass man alle Wochenenden meint, drückt man auf Englisch mit on weekends aus.
    – user47230
    Feb 3, 2021 at 15:39
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    Falls ich nach "wann essen Sie am Wochenende?" frage, dann will ich keineswegs den Regeltermin wissen, sondern meine das Wochenende, um das es gerade geht. Meistens das nächste. Denn selten will ich jedes Wochenende zu Gast/... sein - was irgendwie die Notwendigkeit nach "on weekends" ergäbe. Dass die Antwort vielleicht eher die übliche Zeit liefert - geschenkt. Will ich die übliche Zeit, frage ich nach "... üblicherweise..." und dann folgt die Zeitplanung im Gespräch darauf aufbauend. Dec 1, 2021 at 17:15
  • So sehe ich das auch wie Shegit Dec 2, 2021 at 11:30

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