He likes to eat vegetables like ___(cabbage) today.

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here is an exercise from an exercise book:
He likes to eat vegetables like ___(cabbage) today.

We are asked to fill the blank using the appropriate form of cabbage. The given answer is
cabbages, but I feel cabbage also works, because here, cabbage is regarded as a dish, which is uncountable. Of course, cabbages also work if it refers to the plant of cabbage

Could you please give me some help?
Thank you in advance
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I agree with you. We might eat a few radishes, but not a few cabbages. The uncountable singular is the more natural thing to say there.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    My natural reaction is to agree with entangledbank, but "like" could have two meanings here. In the first, "He likes to eat vegetables such as cabbage today" works a lot better with the uncountable singular form, as cabbage is one of the vegetables he likes to eat. There is no disagreement between the plural "vegetables" and the singular "cabbage" because "such as" allows the inclusion of other vegetables besides cabbage.

    However, it could also mean "He likes to eat vegetables resembling cabbages today", where, because he is not actually eating cabbage and no other vegetables are included, I think it works best with "cabbages" agreeing with "vegetables".

    Having said this, I don't think the opposite form of cabbage(s) is ruled out in either interpretation.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello Long! :)
    It would be 'cabbage' in 'normal' English, but there's nothing normal about this strange sentence! We would be more interested in the 'uncountable' or 'mass' stuff 'cabbage' than in the quantity.

    I'd say 'wants' or 'would like' is better than 'likes'. 'Likes' suggests a frequent habit, but 'today' suggests a limited time that might never be repeated. That is even more wrong than whether cabbage is singular or plural.
     
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