Which one of the following is correct?
- fruits and vegetables
- fruit and vegetables
Could you please explain it to me?
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From the Wikipedia page on "mass nouns"...
- the word "fruit" is (usually) non-count, whereas "vegetables" is a plural count form.
What this means is that for many (particularly, older and/or British) speakers, explicitly pluralising the word in contexts such as "I'm a strict vegetarian - I only eat fruits and vegetables" sounds a bit "odd".
But over recent decades, particularly in America, the "regular" plural has become much more common...
I don't think there's really any difference between fruit and fruits when combined with ...and vegetables as part of the "collective" expression. Being an older Brit myself, I must admit fruits makes me think more of individual pieces of fruit, but that's just because I don't hear the collocation so often as Americans.
It's also interesting to note another point made in that Wikipedia link. In BrE (but not so much in AmE), the informal/slang term veg has been widely adopted as the "non-count" version of vegetables. And whereas fruits and vegetables sounds "a bit odd" to me, fruits and veg (which sometimes turns up in AmE usage) sounds positively weird.