Eating Food: "Essen essen"

Talking about eating can be a little tricky in German. Because the word for “to eat” is so closely related to the words for "food," "lunch," and "dinner," it can sound redundant to use it with these words in a sentence (describing eating meals or eating ethnic foods).

Wir essen mexikanisch. *Wir essen mexikanisches Essen. (redundant)

Ihr esst zu Mittag. *Ihr esst Mittagessen. (redundant)

To avoid this, different expressions are used to talk about eating particular meals. Note, however, that because the word for breakfast is unrelated to "essen," the two can be used together, although there is a separate verb for "to breakfast." For ethnic foods, the adjective is used (without the word for "food," "Essen"). These alternate constructions are included in the lexical entries for the meal terms; to see how they are used, go to the word's description page and find the examples section.

to eat breakfastfrühstücken, Frühstück essen
to eat lunchzu Mittag essen
to eat dinnerzu Abend essen
to eat Indian foodindisch essen