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A meaning of a noun in English may be both countable & uncountable.

For example,

The Longman dictionary says:

fruit [countable, uncountable]: something that grows on a plant, tree, or bush, can be eaten as a food, contains seeds or a stone, and is usually sweet

Fruit is usually uncountable:

I love fruit.

✗Don’t say: I love fruits.

• Fruit is used as a countable noun when talking about particular types of fruit:

They grow mainly citrus fruits.

Cambridge Dictionary says

Some abstract nouns can be used uncountably or countably. The uncountable use has a more general meaning. The countable use has a more particular meaning.

Nouns of this type include: education, experience, hatred, help, knowledge, life, love, sleep, time, understanding.

For example, when "fruit" is a countable noun, it is more specific "My favorite fruits are apples & oranges" (I am not sure it is correct??? Maybe, "My favorite fruits are apple & orange")

& when "fruit" is an uncountable noun, it is more general "I love fruit" or "fruit is good for health"

However, look at the word "sport".

For British people, "Sport" can be both countable & uncountable nouns

So, British people will say "I love sport" (general reference) & "Football & basketball are my favorite sports" (specific reference)

However, for American, "Sport" can be a countable noun only. So, American people would say "I love sports" (general reference) & "Football & basketball are my favorite sports" (specific reference)

Source

To sum up, my question is that does the following statement correct?

"If a meaning of a noun are both countable & uncountable, then its uncountable meaning refers to a more general reference & its countable meaning refers to a more specific reference"

  • "They grow mainly citrus fruit" (no "s"). – user3169 Nov 15 '17 at 1:54
  • @user3169 "They grow mainly citrus fruits." is a quote from the Longman dictionary. – Mick Nov 15 '17 at 2:17
  • Possibly it is different in AmE. – user3169 Nov 15 '17 at 7:00
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Yes, as it says:

Fruit is used as a countable noun when talking about particular types of fruit

In the specific case, where one is differentiating between particular types, the noun can be countable as is the case with fruit/fruits.

You should eat more fruit.

vs.

You should eat more fruits.

In the first case it means you should increase the amount of fruit that you consume, without being specific as to the types or variety of the fruit that you eat. It could mean, for example, that instead of eating one apple each week, that you should eat an apple each day. It could also mean that instead of eating only apples, that you should include other fruits in your diet. It is the general case (not specific).

In the second case it means that you should eat more (different) types of fruit. For example, instead of eating only apples, you should include other types of fruit in your diet. It specifically indicates that you should increase the amount of fruit that you eat by adding other fruits, and not eating more of the same type of fruit. i.e. not more apples, but eating bananas, oranges, etc. in addition to apples (and also not instead of apples).

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