1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

fruit or fruits?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Savoir, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Savoir Senior Member

    HK
    What do you usually say:

    "What fruits do you like?" or

    "What fruit do you like?"

    also as for the ans,

    "I like fruits." or

    "I like fruit."

    Singular or plural?

    Or, would you say

    "Which fruit/what kind/s of fruit/s do you like?"

    Thanks in advance for your opinions.:)
     
  2. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    Fruit is generally always fruit.

    However, in some cases, it might be appropriate to refer to "fruits" when referring to different species of fruit.

    In all of your examples, I would use fruit.
     
  3. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    "Fruits" is also used in the fixed phrase:

    "To enjoy the fruits of ones labour".
     
  4. Savoir Senior Member

    HK
    Thanks very much for your prompt replies, nzfauna. But, I've always thought "fruits" sounds more natural to me, or am I mistaken? What do people from the US, Canada and the UK think? I'd like to hear more opinions, thanks.:)
     
  5. Hello from the UK.

    Like nzfauna, I would also use 'fruit' in all your examples.

    Rover
     
  6. Savoir Senior Member

    HK
    Thanks, Rover_KE.:)
     
  7. Tower of Babel Senior Member

    USA
    USA (American English)
    Hello Savoir,

    From the US, I would ask "What kind of fruit do you like?" (or, "kinds of fruit" would also be okay)

    I hope you realize that the actual answer to such a question would not be something like "I like fruit," but rather, a list, such as: "I like apples, oranges, and bananas."

    However, for the type of answer you've indicated, I would say "I like fruit."
     
  8. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    When speaking of apples, oranges, and the like, "fruits" refers to kinds/species of fruit, and "fruit" refers either to one kind ("Which fruit do you like best?"), one item ("I have a fruit in my hand"), or to generic, noncount fruit ("How much fruit would you like?").

    "What fruits do you like?" (plural, what kinds of fruit)

    "What fruit do you like?" (ambiguous, probably what kind of fruit, possibly which fruit, the one in my left hand or the one in my right hand)

    "I like fruits." (plural, kinds of fruit)

    "I like fruit." (noncount, fruit in general)

    "Fruits" can also refer to products of someone or something.

    A tomato is a fruit in the sense of a product of the tomato plant as well as in the sense of being a seed-bearing, fleshy, edible part of the plant, but it is not commonly considered as representative a fruit as an apple or an orange.
     
  9. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
  10. Savoir Senior Member

    HK
    Thanks very much, Tower of Babel, Forero and cycloneviv, now I see the diff btw fruits and fruit. :)
     

Share This Page