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Is "some of the fruit" plural or singular?

We are familiar with the verse from the bible "She took some of the fruit and ate it.". Here "some of" refers to a piece of a single item. So, it's "ate it", not "them".

What if we're referring to a bowl of blackberries that we know is on the table? For example:

She gathered some of the fruit from the bowl and ate it (or them).

In this case "some of" could either mean "a quantity of blackberries" (which is singular) and "items of food" (i.e. blackberries, which is plural).

So, which one is correct in this specific case, "ate it or them"?

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    It depends entirely on context! As you say, fruit can mean either a type of fruit or an individual piece. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 11:32
  • @KateBunting. What about the example I made? (I corrected the ending question for clarity)
    – Fra
    Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 11:34
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    In my experience blackberries are normally eaten cooked, so I would use it for a quantity of stewed fruit. For small raw fruits, I would use them (but if the bowl held only one kind, I would probably say 'some of the strawberries' rather than 'fruit'. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 11:51

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The plural of 'fruit' can be 'fruit' or 'fruits' depending on context. 'Fruit' can be a non-countable noun, like 'water' or 'food', and could refer to a selection of fruit. This could also be several of the same fruit or various different fruit. We use 'fruits' when we need to emphasise the plurality of different kinds of fruit.

So, "some of the fruit" would depend entirely on the context. "Some" is an unspecified number or quantity. So, if you had just one banana and you cut it up into pieces, "some of the banana" could mean an unspecified number of pieces. It could also mean any quantity of the whole banana. If the fruit you were talking about was already a plural then "some of the fruit" could mean an unspecified number of individual fruits, or any quantity of however the fruit had already been apportioned.

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