In the answer to the question Vegetable or vegetables it is said that in English, only vegetables but not vegetable can be used, since it is not considered a mass noun.

I'm aware the following is not the same situation, but I have seen "fruit and vegetable intake" more commonly used than "fruit and vegetables intake." I know that "intake" changes everything, but can someone explain the grammatical logic behind this use and others, like "vegetable consumption," "vegetable use," etc. Can both vegetable and vegetables be correct in such cases?

  • 2
    In those phrases, both fruit and vegetable are being used as adjectives (attributive nouns), not as straight nouns. Generally, although not always, attributive nouns take a singular form. – Jason Bassford Jul 2 '19 at 14:04

Google search:

  1. "intake of fruits and vegetables" - 1,170,000 results
  2. "fruit and vegetable intake" - 643,000 results
  3. "fruit and vegetables intake" - 28,800 results
  4. "fruits and vegetables intake" - 31,900 results

Preferred answer:

"intake of fruits and vegetables"

| improve this answer | |
  • Google search is based on anything the users type frequently, it doesn't always have to be right. Majority is usually correct, but not always. :) Most of the world's population is NOT a native speaker of English. – Bella Swan Jul 3 '19 at 6:35
  • @BellaSwan to clarify what you mean by "users type frequently", the google results are based on # of webpages, not what users type frequently into the search box, which is what it looks like you are saying. So, "28,800 results" does not mean "28,800 searches", it means "28,800 web pages". Someone who has taken the time to compose an article on a webpage will typically consider grammar. They might not always be correct. But on average, the numbers will follow common usage patterns. – Sam Jul 3 '19 at 11:58

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