Sometimes, we may come across uncountable nouns. These nouns can be tricky to figure out because they don’t have a distinct singular and plural form. This article will look at “fruit” as a noun and explain whether it is also uncountable (and how to use it).
“Fruit” or “Fruits”: What Is The Plural Of “Fruit”?
“Fruit” and “fruits” are both correct as the plural form of “fruit.” We use “fruit” because it’s an uncountable noun when we are talking about “fruit” in the general sense. If we are being specific with the “fruits” listed, then “fruits” is the correct term.
That might sound confusing. Unfortunately, that’s because it is.
Since “fruit” is a food item (like “meat” or “cheese”), it is an uncountable noun. When we look at it in the general sense, we will never include a distinctive plural form:
- I like fruit and vegetables.
- There is a lot of fruit in my fridge.
However, if we were to be more specific about the “fruits,” we would suddenly use a countable noun form. This is because when we specify the “fruits,” we are turning them into a countable source.
- My favorite fruits are strawberries, apples, and oranges.
- He has a collection of cranberry, blueberry, and raspberry fruits in his freezer.
As you can see, when we specifically “count” the “fruits,” we can use it as a more distinctively plural form.
Is “Fruit” A Countable Noun?
The question to this section isn’t as easy as you might think. In some cases, yes, “fruit” is countable. However, in others, it’s just as likely to be uncountable.
Generally, “fruit” is more of an uncountable noun. We typically use it to group together all food items that belong to the “fruit” family. However, if we were to list out our favorite “fruits” or a group of “fruits,” we would be able to use it in a countable noun form.
So, the exact answer is that “fruit” is both countable and uncountable. It’s more common to come across it in its uncountable form because that’s how it’s usually sold in supermarkets and grocery stores.
Still, if you ever feel the need to list “fruits,” there is nothing wrong with turning it into the plural form.
Examples Of How To Use “Fruit” In A Sentence
Let’s go over a few more examples to help you understand the difference. “Fruit” is the much more general grouping noun of the two.
- I like fruit a lot, and I can never get enough of it.
- There is always too much fruit to choose from when I get there.
- Fruit isn’t the only thing you should be eating to maintain a balanced diet.
- This fruit is past its expiry date, and we really should throw them out.
- There’s plenty of fruit in the bowl; just pick your favorite and move on.
- Would you like any fruit or vegetables with that order?
- Let’s have some fruit before we go out!
“Fruit” is the uncountable noun we can use. When in the plural form in this way, we refer to “fruit” as the food group that generalizes all the things that belong to it (i.e., strawberries, oranges, kiwis, pineapples, etc.)
Examples Of How To Use “Fruits” In A Sentence
“Fruits” is the version we might use when we are listing the fruits we like or want to talk about. It would help to understand how it differs from the above examples, so pay attention!
- I like a lot of fruits, namely strawberries and raspberries.
- These fruits are going out of date, and I should eat them all before it’s too late.
- I like berries, apples, and oranges as fruits.
- My favorite fruits have got to be the ones you will find in this bowl.
- These are my favorite fruits, and I’m more than happy to share them with you.
- I like a lot of fruits, but I have to say that apples are my favorite.
- The fruits I have laid out in front of you are all expired, and we need to remove them.
“Fruits” is the countable plural noun form. We use it when we are being specific about a certain amount of groups. It still refers to the food group, but this time it is much clearer which group of “fruits” we are talking about.
Is It “Do You Like Fruit” Or “Do You Like Fruits”?
So, let’s go through some more specific examples and explain how they might work.
“Do you like fruit” is correct when we want to ask a general question about someone’s preferences. “Do you like fruits” is only correct if we finish the question by asking for more specific types of fruits.
Here’s how the two questions might differ:
- Do you like fruit?
- Do you like fruits like oranges?
Is It “I Often Buy Fruit” Or “I Often Buy Fruits”?
The same rules apply when we’re making a statement rather than asking a question.
“I often buy fruit” is correct when stating that we buy “fruit” as a group of items. There is no further specification needed in this format. “I often buy fruits” is only correct if we explain or specify the “fruits” we buy before ending the sentence.
Here’s how you might see the difference:
- I often buy fruit.
- I often buy fruits that my child likes, which are mainly strawberries and grapes.
Is It “Eat More Fruit And Vegetables” Or “Eat More Fruits And Vegetables”?
Finally, we can look at how “fruit” might interact with another food group. Generally, when we talk about food groups in this way, we keep them as more general terms, so there is only one correct form.
“Eat more fruit and vegetables” is correct because we are talking about “fruit” as a general group. We cannot use “eat more fruits and vegetables” because we are not specifying which “fruits” we want somebody to eat.
- Correct: You need to eat more fruit and vegetables if you want to remain healthy.
- Incorrect: I should eat more fruits and vegetables before I lose my breath!
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.