a + fruit

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Garbuz

Senior Member
Russian
I've run across a sentence where 'fruit' is used with the indefinite article. I don't think it expresses the idea of a sort or portion there, which is usually the case when 'fruit' is countable. Here is the sentence: "In a good restaurant a fruit is sometimes served at the end of dinner." Is it a misprint, or do I misunderstand something? Thanks in advance.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I don't think this is a misprint, Garbuz. You can use the indefinite article with "fruit" to mean a type of fruit:

    They served a fruit along with cheese for desert. This would tell us that it was a certain type of fruit rather than "fruit" in general.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Although I agree with the point made by owlman - a fruit means a specific fruit rather than fruit in general - I find both the original sentence and owlman's example odd - I would not expect to see either sentence in modern BE. For example they served grapes with cheese for desert would be more likely - as it is past tense the type of fruit served is known, so why a fruit? If the diner was able to choose which fruit to eat ... a choice of fruit ... rather than ... a fruit ...

    Garbuz, what was the source of your example sentence?
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    If you put "a fruit" into the Dictionary and Thread Title Search box at the top of the page, you will see a list of other threads that discuss this. Some of them may be of interest to you.

    Please remember Rule 1 of the forums:
    Look for the answer first.
    Check the WordReference dictionaries (if available) and scroll down for a list of related threads; or use the forum's search function.
    Thank you.

    Nunty, moderator
     
    Last edited:

    Garbuz

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Garbuz, what was the source of your example sentence?
    It's a stand-alone sentence in an exercise illustrating how 'fruit' can be used as a countable vs. uncountable noun.Thanks for the tip, Nunty. I'll look it up.
     
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