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Mango is my favourite fruit. Is this grammatically correct. I saw somewhere that mangoes or the mango should come. But couldn't understand the reason.

2 Answers 2

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There are a couple of ways to express the idea that a certain type of fruit is your favorite.

The mango is my favorite fruit.

Mangoes are my favorite fruit.

I would consider "mango" without article to be a fruit flavor, or the flesh of the fruit, not a type of fruit.

Mango is my favorite (fruit) flavor.

What flavor ice cream do you want, mango, peach, or strawberry?

The baby has recently started solid foods and loves mango.

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    It seems to me that the answer to a question of this kind depends as much on the item concerned and popular usage as on any rule. Few people would query: Cabbage is my favourite vegetable or Lettuce is my favourite salad ingredient. That's not to disagree with the answer. Possibly a matter of taste! Dec 6, 2018 at 22:47
  • Popular usage is the rule.
    – TimR
    Dec 6, 2018 at 23:21
  • We don't say Apple is my favorite fruit to refer to the type of fruit... unless you're a baby eating mush, of course.
    – TimR
    Dec 6, 2018 at 23:23
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    @Tᴚoɯɐuo I suspect - and this is a tough question - the singular becomes reasonable if the subject can be treated as a mass noun. Apples and strawberries can not be. Cabbage, caviar, and beer should be. Mango seems optional to. Dec 7, 2018 at 0:12
  • Related question about grapes.
    – J.R.
    Dec 7, 2018 at 0:42
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I believe that

Pineapple is my favorite fruit

is a grammatical English sentence because pineapple, like many foods, can be a mass noun. For example, a waiter might ask

Would you like pineapple or cake for dessert?

while he certainly wouldn't ask

*Would you like pineapples or cake for dessert?

On the other hand, native English speakers would never say

*Grape is my favorite fruit,

because grape isn't used as a mass noun. I think the difference here is that pineapples are big enough that you don't eat an entire pineapple in a serving, while grapes are not. Mangoes are somewhere in between. I personally think the OP's sentence is acceptable, but I don't believe all English speakers would agree with me.

Changing the sentence slightly:

*Mango is my favorite tree,

makes it clearly ungrammatical, because mango cannot be a mass noun when you are talking about mango trees. You would need to say one of:

The mango is my favorite tree,
Mangoes are my favorite trees.

NOTE: I changed "watermelon" to "pineapple" above because of an argument in the comments. Apparently not everybody considers melons to be fruits, and whether I use "watermelon" or "pineapple" is completely immaterial to my answer.

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  • Botanical accuracy aside, it's not really idiomatic to call a watermelon a fruit, since native speakers as a whole don't really apply the word "fruit" to a melon. The phrase fruits and melons is a collocation. google.com/…
    – TimR
    Dec 8, 2018 at 11:45
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo: I am a native English speaker, and I consider watermelon a fruit. This obviously varies regionally. Dec 8, 2018 at 11:51
  • That article is about how to classify watermelon. You're making my point for me. It's only when the subject is classification that the term "fruit" is used of melons.
    – TimR
    Dec 8, 2018 at 11:56
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo: The article implies that it's perfectly idiomatic for some native speakers to call watermelon a fruit. Others disagree. Dec 8, 2018 at 11:59
  • I don't see it there but in any case a single author's statement that it's idiomatic to call a watermelon a fruit is not real evidence thereof; I've given you a link to dozens and dozens of attestations of "fruits and melons" showing that it's common to call melons "melons".
    – TimR
    Dec 8, 2018 at 12:03

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