can we say "a pot of flower"

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi
We sometimes call bonsai potted-plant. But can we say "a pot of flower"? If not, what can be used to refer to the bonsai please?
Here in China, it's normal for us to say "a pot of flower" or "two pots of flower".
Thank you in advance
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hi
    We sometimes call bonsai potted-plant. But can we say "a pot of flower"? If not, what can be used to refer to the bonsai please?
    Here in China, it's normal for us to say "a pot of flower" or "two pots of flower".
    I have never heard that said in the UK.
    Maybe a pot of flowerS, but then that would make me think of cut flowers, not a potted plant.
    A flowring pot-plant, perhaps? I am not sure.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    However, if this is a word for a bonsai we would not put flowers in the description at all, unless the plant actually had blossom on it.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Oh, in China, even if the flower in the pot does have flowers yet, we still call it "a pot of flower".
    So people here can say: I bought a pot of flower this morning(mainly refer to a bonsai, with a plant , which can blossom, in the pot)
    And can we say "I bought a potted plant in stead of "a pot of flower or grass"?
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    We do not use flower for things without actual flowers, we would just say plant. I guess it is the same in the US, but maybe one of our Ameican chums will confirm that.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hmm, almost! We definitely do not bring flowers into the wording if there are no flowers in the plant, but we do not say "pot of plant". We just say it is a plant. Or a potted plant. Or a plant in a pot.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    So can we say "a pot of plant", if it has no actual flowers?
    I'd say not, Longxianchen.

    We can say 'a plant in a pot', or 'a pot containing a plant', though this second sounds very clinical.

    It might be worth saying that, in 'a pot of flowers', the flowers are sitting in water, not earth, in the pot, so they are perforce ephemeral. In 'a potted plant' the plant is sitting in earth and should continue to flourish if you feed it and give it water and sunlight.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Instead of prolonging the agony, I suggest you forget "pot of" with respect to anything you don't plan on consuming, e.g. a pot of beef stew, and its kitchen utensil container.
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No purely decorative pots of basil, thyme, or mint in your garden then, sdg? No pots of geraniums or pots of petunias grace your balconies either. :p
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    can we say "a pot of flower"
    No. Never. Flower is a countable noun -> in the singular it must be qualified by a determiner, and "a pot of a/the some/your flower" makes no sense.

    If you buy a bonsai, it is going to be in a pot...

    See Andygc's answer above at #11.
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    As the posts above have been hinting at, 'a pot of' or 'a jug of' or 'a box of' can never be used with a singular noun unless it is uncountable, e.g. 'water', 'porridge', 'stew', 'basil' (herbs and spices are often uncountable, so while you can't say 'a pot of plant', you can say 'a pot of basil'.)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Hi
    We sometimes call bonsai potted-plant. But can we say "a pot of flower"? If not, what can be used to refer to the bonsai please?
    Here in China, it's normal for us to say "a pot of flower" or "two pots of flower".
    Thank you in advance
    We also refer to them as bonsai:D It is an accepted word in English and it can be used as a count or non count noun. I like bonsai. I bought two new bonsai(s) (usually without the s, but English speakers love to regularize!) today. (It already means plant/shoot/tree in a tray/pot/dish so adding "pot" would be redundant:D)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think they'd have to be in a pot when you bought them, but needn't stay in one.

    I had a friend with a miniature garden with several bonsai in it. They were living directly in the earth - no pot.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I think they'd have to be in a pot when you bought them, but needn't stay in one.

    I had a friend with a miniature garden with several bonsai in it. They were living directly in the earth - no pot.
    Then those "sai" were no longer in a "bon":D If the whole miniature garden is in a big flat (ceramic or concrete, say) container, and/or the owners regularly trim their roots (to keep them small) then that might be a "big" bonsai:D We have several trees that used to be bonsai but we put them in the ground - one is now 9 feet tall, the other is 4 feet tall - definitely ex-bonsai:eek: We also have some dwarf conifers that are the same size as typical bonsai trees but are true dwarf varieties - not to be confused with bonsai. But, it must be admitted that some people now consider any tree that is smaller than expected a "bonsai" - such meaning drift often happens to imported words.
     
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