EN: fruit / fruits

< Previous | Next >

gachette71

Senior Member
Belgium - French
Good afternoon all !

My question is the following : when can I put an 's' to the word "fruit" ?

Thank you for the reply !
 
  • Jeanbar

    Senior Member
    France
    Normal rules apply here: when you are eating a banana it is fruit. When you are eating more than one fruit you are eating fruits.
     

    floise

    Senior Member
    U.S.;English
    Jeanbar's reply can be o.k. when 'fruit' is considered a count noun, but fruit is also used as a non-count noun.

    You can say: The fruit is so nicely arranged in the bowl.

    Here you mean 'many pieces of fruit', but you use 'fruit' as a collective-type noun in the singular.

    You could choose to express the same thing in the plural: 'The fruits are so nicely arranged in the bowl'. Here you are using fruit as a count noun and can pluralize it.

    (I prefer the use of the singular in the first example)

    Here's another example: I like fruit.

    You are using fruit as a non-count noun, and are talking about 'fruit' in general. You don't put an 's' on it in this case.

    But if you are speaking of specific fruits, you can say either: 'I like these fruits' or 'I like this fruit'.

    Does this help or make you more confused? Were you looking at a specific sentence and context?

    floise
     

    pyan

    Senior Member
    English, UK, London
    So, it appears I can say either 'fruit' or 'fruits'. Am I right ?
    No. Everything floise said is correct. But fruit (indénombrable) is more usual. Fruits (dénombrable) is less common.

    If you look at this dictionary definition of "fruit", you will see that it says fruit is countable or uncountable. It does not give one example of fruit being used in the plural, as a countable noun.

    Without context, it is safer to recommend you write or say "fruit" without an "s".
     

    jann

    co-mod'
    English - USA
    Personally, the times I might be tempted to use "fruits" with S are when:

    a. I am talking about several different kinds of fruit and I want to emphasize that fact (e.g., "the fruits of Madagascar" on the same model as "the birds of North America")

    b. figuratively, in the (plural) expression "the fruits of his labor." "The fruit of his labor" is also perfectly correct, but is singular.

    Floise's example about fruitS arranged in a bowl is absolutely correct, but would not come naturally to me. I agree with her that I prefer the collective noun singular option she lists instead.
     

    gachette71

    Senior Member
    Belgium - French
    And what about the following sentence : "Lemons are yellow fruit with a sour taste." Is it grammatically correct ?
     

    Annefranck

    Member
    France
    Bonjour tout le monde,
    Je voudrais juste savoir si ce nom se met au pluriel en anglais; je pensais qu'il était indénombrable et donc on disait "fruit" dans dans tous les cas et pour dire un seul fruit "a piece of fruit", mais je l'ai vu avec un "s" dans "a basket full of fruits" donc je ne sais plus!
    Quelqu'un pourrait-il m'éclairer s'il vous plait?

     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    carolineR

    Senior Member
    France
    both can be used. I'd say it's a matter of what exactly you mean :
    do you intend to insist on the variety of fruits you have in this fruit basket ? -> fruits
    do you inend to insist on the fact fruit, as opposed to, say, ice-cream, is good for your health ? -> fruit
     

    Almacorazon

    New Member
    Romanian
    With your permission, I dare to try an answer as well. Anyway, it is not new, various people have given it before, I am only repeating it.

    1. In British English, the noun has the plural "fruit". No question about it. That's the way I learnt it in school, taking British English, then at University, taking also British English, both in my native country as well as in UK. The link posted above with the Cambridge dictionary is great.

    2. In let's call it "North American" English, the variant "fruits" is being used. Just like "meats", "oils", etc...
    I have been living for a few years now in Canada, and everywhere you hear the second version. Unless one does not go to Newfoundland, and gets the "fruit", along with "methinks", etc. Those people are music to my ears!

    Let's speak the truth, people, we are dealing with 2 different languages for at least half a century! That's only one example out of sooo many!

    Peace!
     

    drassum

    Senior Member
    french - france/île de la Réunion
    Bonjour à tous,

    Il me semble que "fruit" peut être employé comme un dénombrable et un indénombrable. Je n'arrive cependant pas à me décider sur l'ajout d'un "s" dans l'exemple suivant:

    The travellers were hungry so I gave them fruit(s).

    Qu'en pensez-vous?

    Merci infiniment pour votre aide.
     

    Isabelle Le Martret

    Senior Member
    French- France
    Bonjour, je reprends ce fil car je viens de tomber sur la phrase suivante : "are tomatoes fruits or vegetables ?" qui contredit tout ce qu'on m'a appris et que disent les dictionaires. J'attends vos commentaires !

    Je viens de repenser au titre du premier roman de Jeannette Winterson, Oranges are not the Only Fruit, donc, normalement, en tout cas en BE, le titre de l'article sur les tomates aurait dû être "are tomatoes fruit or vegetables ?" ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    jann

    co-mod'
    English - USA
    En tant que nom indénombrable (non-count ou uncountable), le mot fruit reste singulier et sans -S, certes, même lorsqu'il s'agit d'un singulier collectif... mais cela ne veut pas dire que fruit n'existe pas également comme nom dénombrable, ce qui donne fruits au pluriel, bien sûr. Je me demande bien quels dictionnaires pourraient le nier. Comme vous pouvez le voir, il ne s'agit pas non plus d'une différence entre l'anglais britannique et l'anglais américain... :)

    "are tomatoes fruits or vegetables?" :tick:
    Cet usage me paraît parfaitement naturel.

    "are tomatoes fruit or vegetables?"
    C'est également possible.

    On pourrait même demander "Are tomatoes fruit or vegetable?" ... et dans ce cas, les deux substantifs assumeraient une valeur adjectivale.
     

    Isabelle Le Martret

    Senior Member
    French- France
    Merci Jann (avec quelques jours de retard),
    L'exemple donné dans le dictionaire britannique de ton lien tend à prouver que fruit prend un s quand on parle de variétés différentes, en l'occurence mangoes and papaya.
     

    newsomz

    New Member
    English - United States
    En ce cas j'aurais dire "Are tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable?" Les autres phrases ne semblent pas correct à mon oreille. Notez que je suis américaine :)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top