Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Off-Topic > Off-Topic > General off-topic  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #61  
Old 01.08.2011, 08:52
poptart's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,785
Groaned at 33 Times in 28 Posts
Thanked 3,013 Times in 1,242 Posts
poptart has a reputation beyond reputepoptart has a reputation beyond reputepoptart has a reputation beyond reputepoptart has a reputation beyond reputepoptart has a reputation beyond reputepoptart has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
And how, exactly, do you know the full context and case of this question?
Well, this is the luxury of the native speakers and those who have read enough or lived around it enough to know the nuances of context. English is one of those languages where mere rules are not enough to navigate usage, especially as it is spoken. I might also point out that, though UK and US English are converging somewhat, the usage of a 'car broke down at Birmingham', would be almost exclusively UK English as US English would use 'in' with more geographic detail though you will find the 'at' used at times as well. There remain some idioms that peg the user as to which side of the Atlantic they learned English though the internet and travel are making it harder to nail down.
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 01.08.2011, 12:33
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
There remains some idiomata that peg the user as to on which side of the pond they learned English
FTFY
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 02.08.2011, 10:17
Carlos R's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Roundn'about Basel
Posts: 7,231
Groaned at 105 Times in 95 Posts
Thanked 9,934 Times in 4,178 Posts
Carlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
Well, this is the luxury of the native speakers and those who have read enough or lived around it enough to know the nuances of context. English is one of those languages where mere rules are not enough to navigate usage, especially as it is spoken. I might also point out that, though UK and US English are converging somewhat, the usage of a 'car broke down at Birmingham', would be almost exclusively UK English as US English would use 'in' with more geographic detail though you will find the 'at' used at times as well. There remain some idioms that peg the user as to which side of the Atlantic they learned English though the internet and travel are making it harder to nail down.
<suppresses urge to facepalm>

Clearly your English is so great as to miss the point of my question...

I didn't ask for an explanation of what context is. As a native British-English speaker I know what it means.

I asked, how, from the OP's first post (I even quoted is for you), you can divine what is correct or not. Both are correct given a specific context, yet that context is not given, therefore you cannot say which is correct and which is wrong.

Got it yet?
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:07
Sagitta's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Winterthur
Posts: 706
Groaned at 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 1,174 Times in 489 Posts
Sagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Sorry to barge in on your fascinating debate, but I have a tiny problem with this quote:

“By this point I am already getting a little annoyed as I watch heavy items thrown on top of more delicate items such as my soft fruits.” (this comes from a recent EF thread).

I’m not a native speaker, but I am an English language buff. So my question is:

Is fruit countable or uncountable in English?
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:15
TheWolverine's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 1,490
Groaned at 13 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 1,378 Times in 688 Posts
TheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
Is fruit countable or uncountable in English?
Countable.
From here.
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:21
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Fribourg
Posts: 428
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 212 Times in 102 Posts
Millso has made some interesting contributions
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
Countable.
That's interesting, I remember being taught that fruit was fruit no matter how many you had though maybe that was more to do with the fact that we don't say, " I have three fruits" but rather "I have three pieces of fruit".

Anyway, primary school was so long ago that I could just be misremembering (or just plain wrong haha).
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:26
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
Quote:
View Post
Sorry to barge in on your fascinating debate, but I have a tiny problem with this quote:

“By this point I am already getting a little annoyed as I watch heavy items thrown on top of more delicate items such as my soft fruits.” (this comes from a recent EF thread).

I’m not a native speaker, but I am an English language buff. So my question is:

Is fruit countable or uncountable in English?
Countable.
From here.
Attachment 30372

Oh, dear - a little knowledge etc




You're right to have a problem, Sagitta, in this context fruit is uncountable, so it should have read as

“By this point, I am already getting a little annoyed as I watch heavy items thrown on top of more delicate items such as my soft fruit.

Last edited by weejeem; 14.10.2011 at 15:03.
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:26
Sagitta's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Winterthur
Posts: 706
Groaned at 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 1,174 Times in 489 Posts
Sagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond reputeSagitta has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
That's interesting, I remember being taught that fruit was fruit no matter how many you had though maybe that was more to do with the fact that we don't say, " I have three fruits" but rather "I have three pieces of fruit".

Anyway, primary school was so long ago that I could just be misremembering (or just plain wrong haha).
Exactly. It is uncountable according to all the English textbooks that I know, but the actual usage contradicts it.
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:28
Louis Wu's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: varied, now Nouvelle Normandie
Posts: 1,024
Groaned at 24 Times in 21 Posts
Thanked 907 Times in 455 Posts
Louis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
Countable.
From here.

Sorry, disagree with that definition, "fruit" is a collective noun (although a piece of fruit would be singular) and therefore uncountable. See here: http://englishmistakeswelcome.com/co...able_nouns.htm

As per Millso, the correct sentence could have been "By this point I am already getting a little annoyed as I watch heavy items thrown on top of more delicate items such as my soft fruit"
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:33
TidakApa's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Top of a Triangle
Posts: 2,992
Groaned at 38 Times in 29 Posts
Thanked 5,673 Times in 2,039 Posts
TidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
“By this point I am already getting a little annoyed as I watch heavy items thrown on top of more delicate items such as my soft fruits.” (this comes from a recent EF thread).

Is fruit countable or uncountable in English?
I guess in this case, both are correct.

To be honest, either 'fruit' or 'fruits' could be used here. Particularly if this is in reference to multiple types of fruit (berries, banana's, all in one bag etc)

However, you are right when using fruit as a singular as well.

"A box of fruit", is not just one piece.

"I put the fruit in the bag" would also imply multiple fruit.


but I didn't study English at school, so somebody far more intellegent than I should answer this for you.

Personally, I would go with the singluar "Fruit" as the most correct in the above statement, but I find 'fruits' perfectly acceptable (based on my earlier rationale).


Quote:
View Post
Countable.
From here.
Ha Ha....... mate, did you see "Point number 6"?
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:35
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Two questions for English speakers

That's the nice thing about EF - we all benefit from the fruits of our labours.
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:37
Louis Wu's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: varied, now Nouvelle Normandie
Posts: 1,024
Groaned at 24 Times in 21 Posts
Thanked 907 Times in 455 Posts
Louis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
That's the nice thing about EF - we all benefit from the fruits of our labours.

You beat me to it, I was also thinking of that usage - it's a fairly specific case though. I've been trying to think of other instances where "fruits" would be the variant used in everyday (UK) English.
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:42
TidakApa's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Top of a Triangle
Posts: 2,992
Groaned at 38 Times in 29 Posts
Thanked 5,673 Times in 2,039 Posts
TidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond reputeTidakApa has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
You beat me to it, I was also thinking of that usage - it's a fairly specific case though. I've been trying to think of other instances where "fruits" would be the variant used in everyday (UK) English.
Quote:
View Post
Countable.
From here.
(from point 6 in the link above)


Two "fruits" walk into a bar........

One says "are you gay"
the other says "nope, but I have sex with men who are"
<boom tish>
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:46
Village Idiot's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 3,726
Groaned at 35 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 7,006 Times in 2,266 Posts
Village Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

See also http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fruit

I can't put my finger on why I do it, but in common usage I would talk about a bowl of fruit, but I would prepare a list of fruits that I was allergic to.

And I wouldn't refer to 'a fruit' except as a class of food item (eg, "please could I have a piece of fruit. I try to eat a fruit or vegetable each morning.)
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:50
Louis Wu's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: varied, now Nouvelle Normandie
Posts: 1,024
Groaned at 24 Times in 21 Posts
Thanked 907 Times in 455 Posts
Louis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
See also http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fruit

I can't put my finger on why I do it, but in common usage I would talk about a bowl of fruit, but I would prepare a list of fruits that I was allergic to.

And I wouldn't refer to 'a fruit' except as a class of food item (eg, "please could I have a piece of fruit. I try to eat a fruit or vegetable each morning.)

It's hard to put your finger on why and common usage very often uses forms that would be technically speaking incorrect but commonly accepted. In your example, I would have made up a a "list of different types of fruit that I'm allergic to"
I hasten to add that I'm certainly no expert on English grammar :-)
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 02.08.2011, 11:55
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 1,191
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 1,781 Times in 704 Posts
ceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
See also http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fruit

I can't put my finger on why I do it, but in common usage I would talk about a bowl of fruit, but I would prepare a list of fruits that I was allergic to.

And I wouldn't refer to 'a fruit' except as a class of food item (eg, "please could I have a piece of fruit. I try to eat a fruit or vegetable each morning.)
I'd prepare a list of 'fruit' I was allergic to, and I try to eat 'fruit or vegetables '
each morning.
I think we're in danger of becoming pedantic fruit-cakes here
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 02.08.2011, 12:02
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: basel
Posts: 2,358
Groaned at 24 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 2,426 Times in 1,164 Posts
biff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
In the case of a city, the name is being used synecdochally, so 3 does cover it.

Thus, when I say that I "broke down at Birmingham", this means that I broke down in the somewhere in the vicinity of Birmingham, and is not the same thing as breaking down "in Birmingham".
S-y-n-e-c-d-o..... okay, you've got me there! (as in, I don't understand) Off to check google dictionary for that word.
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 02.08.2011, 12:06
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 1,191
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 1,781 Times in 704 Posts
ceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond reputeceppych has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Maybe we should now switch to the 'What to do ON Christmas thread'
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 02.08.2011, 12:12
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
I can't put my finger on why I do it, but in common usage I would talk about a bowl of fruit, but I would prepare a list of fruits that I was allergic to.
I would too - simply because, in the first instance, fruit is a collective noun or group; and in the second instance, fruits is being used in the context of a "group of such groups".


Similarly, my list of all the peoples in the world that I have never met is significantly shorter than my list of all the people in the world that I have never met.
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old 02.08.2011, 12:13
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Two questions for English speakers

Quote:
View Post
S-y-n-e-c-d-o..... okay, you've got me there! (as in, I don't understand) Off to check google dictionary for that word.
Start with metonymy, and branch out from there
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Two quick SBB ticket questions richardm Transportation/driving 6 28.07.2009 13:18
English teachers for native English speakers in Basel? Rach Language corner 8 30.08.2008 09:58
Unskilled Work for English speakers Scotia Employment 14 31.07.2007 14:04


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 18:28.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0