He ends his lunch with a fruit.

Sotech

New Member
UK
Hungarian
Hello all,

I have a disagreement with someone over a sentence.
- He ends his lunch with a fruit.
I think it's grammatically ok using "a" before fruit. Fruit can be either countable or uncountable. But he claims using "a fruit" in this sentence is wrong and a native English speaker would never say. Is that correct? What do you think?

Thanks for the replies!
 
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  • twenty6

    Senior Member
    English - U.S., Chinese - Mandarin
    Your sentence would imply "he physically ends his lunch using fruit", which isn't really possible (because lunch isn't a thing you can end using fruit, unless you eat the fruit, therefore symbolically ending lunch, haha...)

    If you want to say that "he" ends his lunch by eating fruit, you could say "he ends his lunch with fruit" (while that also means he ends his lunch physically with a fruit, it's interpreted in AE to mean he eats fruit at the end of this lunch).

    At least, that's my interpretation. Others might see it the opposite way.
     
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    icecreamsoldier

    Senior Member
    New Zealand English
    'He ends his lunch with a fruit' sounds fine to me. I imagine a child's lunchbox or bento box where each day there is an item of fruit, which may change e.g. depending on seasonal availability, that he leaves until last.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    To my mind, you can use either 'fruit' or 'a piece of fruit'. This doesn't mean a little bit of one item, such as one slice of banana. Several non- count nouns have a particular word used when only when only one is meant. We can talk about 'an item of news' or 'a piece of furniture' or a work of art, and so on.

    I suppose this area is called usage. I always have fruit with yoghourt for breakfast. It's often berries, fresh or frozen, and it might be tinned fruit such as apricots or peaches. None of that could be called 'a piece of fruit'.
    I don't think he has 'a fruit' for desert, is correct usage.
     

    icecreamsoldier

    Senior Member
    New Zealand English
    @Hermione Agreed, but if 'a fruit' were to mean 'a type/portion/serving of fruit' would you be any more accepting of it? @Sotech Better perhaps to avoid it altogether with the suggestions above or just say 'some fruit'.
     

    Sotech

    New Member
    UK
    Hungarian
    @Hermione Agreed, but if 'a fruit' were to mean 'a type/portion/serving of fruit' would you be any more accepting of it? @Sotech Better perhaps to avoid it altogether with the suggestions above or just say 'some fruit'.
    I agree I wouldn't use that, but as @The Newt wrote:
    It would be very unusual, though not technically impossible.
    So as I wrote: "I think it's grammatically correct" or it's not? For example: - He ends his lunch with a fruit usually an orange.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    AE (US English)
    When mommy packs a school lunch (which will be eaten 5 hours later) she doesn't pack cut-up fruit. That changes color in five hours. And the lunch won't be refrigerated. So she packs a whole piece of fruit: an apple, or an orange, or a banana. Those don't need to be refrigerated, to stay fresh and crispy.

    Each of those is "a fruit". So it's a reasonable thing to say (in AE).
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    AE (US English)
    But he claims using "a fruit" in this sentence is wrong and a native English speaker would never say.
    It depends on the meaning. An entire banana, or apple, or peach, or pear, or orange is "a fruit". But a diced-up bunch of pieces in a plastic container is not "a fruit". It is "some fruit".
     

    Parliament

    Member
    English (UK) & Dutch (NL)
    I have to agree with Newt. It's grammatically fine but unusual. It conjures up visions of a boy having lunch with an apple seated in the chair next to him.

    Other grammatical structures ('he finished his lunch with an apple for dessert') do not favour the bizarre nearly as much.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I agree with those who say that "with a fruit" is grammatically perfect but idiomatically highly questionable. It would be totally idiomatic to retain the indefinite article if you changed the word "fruit" to something specific like apple or banana, but if you keep "fruit", you need either to insert something like "piece of" or delete the article or replace it with something like "some".
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If he has "a fruit", he can never have grapes or berries or those little cups of "canned" fruit - mandarin orange sections, peach slices, etc. They do make little packets of sliced apples that don't brown quickly (they have them at McDonald's as well as grocery stores).

    "A fruit" sounds both too general and too specific at the same time (if that makes any sense). You know exactly what he has (he never has sliced apples or a fruit cup) but you won't tell us. ;)
     

    Sotech

    New Member
    UK
    Hungarian
    Based on the replies it seems (to me), it's more acceptable for an AmE speaker than for a BrE one. :)
     
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