how much / many fruit

Discussion in 'English Only' started by par, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. par Member

    Spain Spanish
    I've looked up 'fruit' in a dictionary and I've found that is a countable noun and it's used for both singular and plural but I've always thought that you have to say 'how much fruit do you eat?' instead of How many fruit...?
    What is the best option?
    Thank you
  2. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    How much fruit do you eat? You'd expect a reply like I have an apple at lunch and perhaps some grapes for supper, most days.
    How many fruits do you eat? You'd expect a reply like Well I eat apples and oranges and grapefruit and plums occasionally, so that's four.

    If you want to know how many oranges someone eats you just say how many oranges do you eat?
  3. par Member

    Spain Spanish
    Thank you Thomas, now I've got a clearer idea about it
  4. okey-dokey Senior Member

    English / UK, London
    Many words classed as uncountable (i.e. mass nouns) are also countable. However, when you shift between countability and uncountability the meaning always changes.

    Your examples are:
    1. "How much fruit do you eat?"

    2. "How many fruits do you eat?"

    In 1. fruit means an edible product of certain plants, whilst in 2. fruit means a type of edible product of a certain plant. The latter can be counted.

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