This vineyard produces an excellent grape / excellent grapes

Discussion in 'English Only' started by panzona, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. panzona

    panzona Senior Member

    Hello everybody,
    I have a question regarding "grapes".

    The sentence is:

    This vineyard produces an excellent grape.

    Is "grape" (singular) totally wrong here, or it just sounds bad?

    Would it be better like the following?

    This vineyard produces excellent grapes.

    There is no context for the sentence, it's just an example for the word "vineyard" in a small dictionary (and yes, I know that "grape" is countable! ;)).

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    I think it's a fairly typical way of speaking about a field (or a plant, or even a region) to indicate the general quality of its yield.
  3. Kevin Beach

    Kevin Beach Senior Member

    If used in the singular, "grape" could refer to a type or quality of grape. Therefore it is quite possible to say This vineyard produces an excellent grape.
  4. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    I think that "an excellent grape" is only used when implying that the grapes are going to be used to make wine. I would only stroll out to my backyard grape arbour with a friend and say "These plants produce an excellent grape" if I were planning on making wine with them. If I were just growing them to eat by the bunch, I would say "These plants produce excellent grapes".
  5. R1chard Senior Member

    British English
    The use of an exellent grape in this context refers to the quality of the grape production of the vineyard.

    The phrase excellent grapes refers to the quality of individual grapes but in a collective sense - which may, or may not, be all of the grapes in the vineyard.

    However... the first example suggests a slight affectation, perhaps spoken by someone who wants it to be known that they are knowledgeable about grape production.

  6. panzona

    panzona Senior Member

    Thank you all for your comments and help!

    Yes, I indeed wanted to refer to the quality of the grape and convey the idea that the grapes will be used to produce wine.

    I started doubting about the "correctness" of the sentence, though, because my editor (in a publishing company, not an editor of a magazine!) asked me: are you sure? Isn't it "grapes"?
    She is not a native speaker, but has a good command of the English language, and made me think that maybe I had made a mistake... (not to mention the fact that I am doubting the spelling of my very own name, when questioned by her: she is a terrific editor!).

    So... thank you all for your replies, I just wanted to be sure that the grammar of the sentence was not... questionable!

    Cheers! ;)

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