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fish Options
boa
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 7:26:44 AM
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I know that "fish" and "fruit" make a lot of trouble for many people I mean the proper usage of those two. My question is:

1) Do you agree that if we want to specify a piece of fruit then it's best to use "a piece of fruit" but not "a fruit"?

- Give me a piece of fruit. (GOOD)
- Give me a fruit. (BAD)


If you agree then I have the same question about "fish" is it also not OK to say "a fish" or is it fine and correct to use the article "a" with "fish".

DontCloudMe
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 10:37:44 AM

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It depends heavily on context.

How can we expect another to keep our secret if we have been unable to keep it ourselves. -Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Waverley67
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 11:18:47 AM
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I am not so sure that context is important when referring to fruit. Both 'give me a fruit' and 'give me a piece of fruit' could result in receiving the same item from, for example, a basket of fruit at a banquet. You may receive either an entire fruit or a slice or segment of a larger fruit. If one were asked to remove fruit from a tree where the fruit was all the same, in my opinion, either would still apply.

Unlike with fruit, 'a piece of fish', will only ever refer to a part, usually a fillet, of fish.

Once again, boa, your observations astound and confound me. Think

English is such a beautiful and complex language, I'm happy to admit I sometimes get it wrongly!
boa
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 12:17:58 PM
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I see. Thank you. Let's say there are ten fish on a tray and each of the guests is allowed to take only one fish. By saying one fish I want to make it clear that it's an entire fish not a piece of fish. What would be the right way to say it.

1) - You may have one fish.
2) - You may have a fish.
3) - You may have one piece of fish.

I have some other options but they are too perverted to be suggested as valid options.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 2:28:37 PM

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You may have one fish or a fish, they both mean the same here.
I came come from a fishing trip and my brother asked if I got any fish. I answered "Yes, I got a fish, one pike." I could have also answered "Yes, I got one, a pike." or "Yes, I got fish, a/one pike."

"A fish" is sort of one item of fish you might have caught or bought, perhaps gutted but not filleted into pieces.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
leonAzul
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 4:45:55 PM

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boa wrote:
I see. Thank you. Let's say there are ten fish on a tray and each of the guests is allowed to take only one fish. By saying one fish I want to make it clear that it's an entire fish not a piece of fish. What would be the right way to say it.

1) - You may have one fish.
2) - You may have a fish.
3) - You may have one piece of fish.

I have some other options but they are too perverted to be suggested as valid options.


"You may each have one fish apiece."

That is the clearest way to say it.



"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
boa
Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013 2:31:40 AM
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What if I want to have a fruit slice of (an) unknown fruit, what would be the best way to say it?

1) May I have a slice of a piece of this/the fruit?
2) May I have a piece of a piece of this/the fruit?
3) May I have a piece of this/the fruit? (I think this one is ambiguous as it suggests that I might want to have either a whole piece of fruit (an apple) or a piece of fruit (a piece of apple))


Another thing: there is a saying There are many fish in the sea.

Would it be OK to say - There are many fruit in the world. meaning quantity not kinds of fruit. Or is it better to say There are many pieces of fruit in the world.

"There is a lot of fruit" is ambiguous. I don't consider this option.
dave freak
Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013 11:08:12 AM
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Hi boa .

In my humble opinion:

To begin with, "fruit issue", shall we?

"Fruit" is, to some degree, a problematic word in English, because it has two plural forms, one the more common "fruit" and the other very rare "fruits" [when you mean many kinds of fruit: tropical fruits). At this stage we already know it.

You can say a piece of fruit, if you, for instance, break an apple in half, then you get a piece of apple, or a piece of an apple when you don't care that it comes from a particular apple.

Quote:
1) May I have a slice of a piece of this/the fruit?
2) May I have a piece of a piece of this/the fruit?


They are both "overpacked", and thus, odd. In English, I think we don't usually lump partitives together, meaning you can't jumble them all together. I have learnt by experience that the phrase "a slice of any fruit" is rarely used, if ever. You can have a slice of bread, a slice of lemon, a slice of meat, but a slice of fruit? That depends on the shape of a particular fruit. So, you just say a piece of the fruit if you're pointing at any particular one.


Quote:
3) May I have a piece of this/the fruit? (I think this one is ambiguous as it suggests that I might want to have either a whole piece of fruit (an apple) or a piece of fruit (a piece of apple))


To me, it's clear.

May I have the/an apple*? - I am asking for the whole one.

an - doesn't matter what apple
the - a particular one

May I have a piece of the/an* apple? - I am asking for (a) part of it.
* depends on the context. Seems that all three are acceptable.

That's the way I see it.

I'II give an example:

I ate a chicken = the whole one
I ate chicken = part of it.


Guys, beat the pants off me if I am talking a loads of bollocks here, hehe. English is very very systematic when it comes to grammar, but, the thing is that the context is what determines the usage of it. Here, we are just speculating talking about solutions possible.

*************************************

Before I forget...As far as I gather "many" is not so much common in affirmative sentences. We use 'a lot of" (lotta) "lots of" (lotsa)instead.

regards,

Dave.
boa
Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013 11:33:20 AM
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Your main mistake is that you think that "a piece of fruit" means "a wedge, slice, part of fruit". But the first meaning it bears is "a whole piece of fruit" which is an intact apple etc.

If you have some fruit in a basket and you say "Give me a piece of fruit" you will get "a whole piece of fruit" that is, a whole apple. I see you don't understand it. This is why I was wondering how to make it clear if I really need "a slice, wedge" of a piece of fruit.

Or do you think that it is ok to say: "Give me a fruit" meaning an apple?
Or maybe you think that "There are ten pieces of fruit" means 10 parts of one apple?

Stop saying: We say in England. You will never become a genuine Brit.
dave freak
Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013 12:32:12 PM
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boa wrote:
Your main mistake is that you think that "a piece of fruit" means "a wedge, slice, part of fruit". But the first meaning it bears is "a whole piece of fruit" which is an intact apple etc.

If you have some fruit in a basket and you say "Give me a piece of fruit" you will get "a whole piece of fruit" that is, a whole apple. I see you don't understand it. This is why I was wondering how to make it clear if I really need "a slice, wedge" of a piece of fruit.

Or do you think that it is ok to say: "Give me a fruit" meaning an apple?
Or maybe you think that "There are ten pieces of fruit" means 10 parts of one apple?

Stop saying: We say in England. You will never become a genuine Brit.


Why are you still looking for a spat? Hey, what's wrong with you? What have I done to deserve this? You really don't know me, but still running off at the mouth. Work on your reading comprehension skills (I'm being friendly here). To my way of thinking, you, for some obscure reasons, can't stand the thought of me knowing English well. (BTW, I have never dropped a hint that I was the authority, or expert on English, which would be stupid of me) Let's face it, I was able to win forum people over. I'm too polite a man to go down to your gutter. Sorry. I bitterly regret ever having told to you.

I won't ever write anything related to the posts of yours. What you are writing is just sick and juvenile. Grow up. Don't flip up.

To the rest:

Sorry for me being involved in such a ludicrous discussion. It was an one-off. You know, I was just the target of trolling, which happens, and must say that in such situations I wish I had a real honest-to-God auto-assault rifle and ammo on hand (just kidding hehe). Talking seriously, I don't give a monkey's uncle about it.
boa
Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013 3:43:43 PM
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D F, are you done with your self-loving? You had better have been focused on the issue if this thread. The truth is - no matter what you say it all sounds like a promo-campaign of D-FREAK's. I asked a few questions which you find hard to answer, the rest is of no importance to me.

Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013 4:03:54 PM

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Boa,
in this forum you should always think before you hit the enter.
You have been namecalling several members now.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 11:02:49 PM

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Back to fruit and fish. This is my opinion as an English speaker, not as a grammarian.

Fruit
If there is a pile of apples, oranges and bananas - all whole, not cut up into parts, I would say:
"Have a piece of fruit." or "Have a fruit." or "Have some fruit." - depending on how I felt at the time.
"Which fruit would you like - apple, orange or banana?"

If there was a plate of apples, bananas and slices of melon, I would say:
"Have a piece of fruit." or "Have some fruit."
"Which fruit would you like - apple, banana or melon?"

If there is a fruit (which I do not know, some exotic Asian thing), and I wanted a slice of it, I'd ask:
"May I have a slice of that fruit, please?" or "May I have a piece of this fruit, please?"

If I wanted a whole one of them, I'd ask:
"May I have one of the/this/that fruit, please?"

Fish
There is really only one way to say each thing.

If you want a whole fish, you would say "May I have a fish?", if you want a piece of fish, you would ask "May I have a piece of fish?"

*******************
boa wrote:
Quote:
Another thing: there is a saying There are many fish in the sea.

Would it be OK to say - There are many fruit in the world. meaning quantity not kinds of fruit. Or is it better to say There are many pieces of fruit in the world.

"There is a lot of fruit" is ambiguous. I don't consider this option.


That is right - the expression is "Many fish in the sea".

If one were to say "There are many fruit in the world", it would mean (to me) that there are a lot of apples, plus a lot of oranges, plus a lot of bananas and so on. All these individual fruits would add up to the "many fruit".
The equivalent could be "There are a lot of animals in the world."

If one were to say "There are many fruits in the world", it would mean (to me) that there are apples, oranges, bananas and so on. All these types of fruit would add up to the "many fruits".
The equivalent could be "There are a lot of different types of animal in the world."

If one were to say "There is a lot of fruit in the world", it would mean (to me) that there is a large amount of the food which comes from apples, oranges, bananas, and all other similar plants. ("fruit" is uncountable here)
The equivalent could be "There is a lot of meat in the world."


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
boa
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 2:04:53 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

Fruit
If there is a pile of apples, oranges and bananas - all whole, not cut up into parts, I would say:
"Have a piece of fruit." or "Have a fruit." or "Have some fruit." - depending on how I felt at the time.
"Which fruit would you like - apple, orange or banana?"

"Have a fruit." - This one is not very safe to say in terms of grammar, isn't it? Doesn't it give an idea of "a kind of fruit", as if you are offering to take a certain type of fruit but not a piece of fruit, that is, one apple etc.?


If there was a plate of apples, bananas and slices of melon, I would say:
"Have a piece of fruit." or "Have some fruit."
"Which fruit would you like - apple, banana or melon?"

If there is a fruit (which I do not know, some exotic Asian thing), and I wanted a slice of it, I'd ask:
"May I have a slice of that fruit, please?" or "May I have a piece of this fruit, please?"

So, basically, this construction is ambiguous "May I have a piece of this fruit, please?" as it may mean both a whole apple (fruit) and a piece of an apple. Is "May I have a piece of a piece of the fruit" really that dreadful and unacceptable?
*******************
If one were to say "There are many fruit in the world", it would mean (to me) that there are a lot of apples, plus a lot of oranges, plus a lot of bananas and so on. All these individual fruits would add up to the "many fruit".

I am a bit surprised. Is that sentence really grammatical? I understand that it can be used that way in colloquial English but I think it's not correct in terms of grammar. Why? You know the answer. "Fruit" is uncountable. Though, it might be passable in informal English. Would you say: "There are many meat in the world?"

If one were to say "There is a lot of fruit in the world", it would mean (to me) that there is a large amount of the food which comes from apples, oranges, bananas, and all other similar plants. ("fruit" is uncountable here)

Well, why can't it mean "There are a lot of pieces of fruit in the world."

The equivalent could be "There is a lot of meat in the world."
leonAzul
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 2:43:53 AM

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boa wrote:
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

Fruit
If there is a pile of apples, oranges and bananas - all whole, not cut up into parts, I would say:
"Have a piece of fruit." or "Have a fruit." or "Have some fruit." - depending on how I felt at the time.
"Which fruit would you like - apple, orange or banana?"

"Have a fruit." - This one is not very safe to say in terms of grammar, isn't it? Doesn't it give an idea of "a kind of fruit", as if you are offering to take a certain type of fruit but not a piece of fruit, that is, one apple etc.?


If there was a plate of apples, bananas and slices of melon, I would say:
"Have a piece of fruit." or "Have some fruit."
"Which fruit would you like - apple, banana or melon?"

If there is a fruit (which I do not know, some exotic Asian thing), and I wanted a slice of it, I'd ask:
"May I have a slice of that fruit, please?" or "May I have a piece of this fruit, please?"

So, basically, this construction is ambiguous "May I have a piece of this fruit, please?" as it may mean both a whole apple (fruit) and a piece of apple. Is "May I have a piece of a piece of the fruit" really that dreadful and unacceptable?
*******************
If one were to say "There are many fruit in the world", it would mean (to me) that there are a lot of apples, plus a lot of oranges, plus a lot of bananas and so on. All these individual fruits would add up to the "many fruit".

I am a bit surprised. Is that sentence really grammatical? I understand that it can be used that way in colloquial English but I think it's not correct in terms of grammar. Why? You know the answer. "Fruit" is uncountable. Though, it might be passable in informal English. Would you say: "There are many meat in the world?"

If one were to say "There is a lot of fruit in the world", it would mean (to me) that there is a large amount of the food which comes from apples, oranges, bananas, and all other similar plants. ("fruit" is uncountable here)

Well, why can't it mean "There are a lot of pieces of fruit in the world."

The equivalent could be "There is a lot of meat in the world."

Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

If you want some fruit, then ask for some fruit.

If you want some strawberries, then ask for some strawberries.

if you want some fish, then ask for some fish.

If you want something to eat, then ask for something to eat.

"May I have some [whatever]" is always good form.

If you don't understand what "good form" means, then you are hopelessly ignorant of English, and you need to put your teachers' feet to the fire.
Think


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
boa
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 5:07:02 AM
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leonAzul wrote:

Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

If you want some fruit, then ask for some fruit.

If you want some strawberries, then ask for some strawberries.

if you want some fish, then ask for some fish.

If you want something to eat, then ask for something to eat.

"May I have some [whatever]" is always good form.

If you don't understand what "good form" means, then you are hopelessly ignorant of English, and you need to put your teachers' feet to the fire.
Think


(It's so easy in your eyes "if you want just ask then".... Such a rosy view of the world. I envy you this.)

Would it bother you if I or someone else were ignorant of something? Definitely not. So, why bother even to bring this into the discussion? I usually find your answers useful and apt, this one is simply "a puke", nothing personal - only facts. If you don't see how this phrase "a piece of fruit" may be misleading then how more ignorant you may be, taking into consideration the fact that your first language is English? Love, Boa.
kool-wind
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 7:14:54 AM

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boa wrote:
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

If one were to say "There are many fruit in the world", it would mean (to me) that there are a lot of apples, plus a lot of oranges, plus a lot of bananas and so on. All these individual fruits would add up to the "many fruit".

I am a bit surprised. Is that sentence really grammatical? I understand that it can be used that way in colloquial English but I think it's not correct in terms of grammar. Why? You know the answer. "Fruit" is uncountable. Though, it might be passable in informal English. Would you say: "There are many meat in the world?"


I have to agree with boa here DragOn, "There are many fruit in the world" just isn't right. I wouldn't even call it colloquial.

"There is much fruit in the world", or "there are many fruits in the world", although that last one could get you labelled as a homophobe.


It is better to travel well than to arrive. Buddha
leonAzul
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 8:39:54 AM

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boa wrote:
leonAzul wrote:

Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

If you want some fruit, then ask for some fruit.

If you want some strawberries, then ask for some strawberries.

if you want some fish, then ask for some fish.

If you want something to eat, then ask for something to eat.

"May I have some [whatever]" is always good form.

If you don't understand what "good form" means, then you are hopelessly ignorant of English, and you need to put your teachers' feet to the fire.
Think



(It's so easy in your eyes "if you want just ask then".... Such a rosy view of the world. I envy you this.)

Would it bother you if I or someone else were ignorant of something? Definitely not. So, why bother even to bring this into the discussion? I usually find your answers useful and apt, this one is simply "a puke", nothing personal - only facts. If you don't see how this phrase "a piece of fruit" may be misleading then how more ignorant you may be, taking into consideration the fact that your first language is English? Love, Boa.

Observe the responses to what you have written, and please learn.

Peace,

leonAzul
Think


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
dave freak
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 9:23:19 AM
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Dragon, Leon - well posted. You resolved my doubts, which I really laud. Cheers.
Boa - don't feel offended I joined YOUR thread here. I just thought it would be advantageous to us all to mix correlated topics up. All the best,

Following your way of thinking I built up the following sentences, which I would like you to look at in terms of grammar. These sentences tie in closely with this thread, so I don't think it's impolite to put them here.
a. My favourite fruit is apple. (my opinion: acceptable)

b. My favourite fruit is apples. (my opinion: correct)

c. My favourite fruit is apples and oranges. (my opinion: wrong)

d. My favourite fruit are apples and bananas. (my opinion: correct)

I also heard native speakers speaking:

e. My favourite fruit is the apple (my opinion: acceptable), which I would make into:

f. My favourite fruits are the apples (my opinion: acceptable)

Is my way of reasoning correct? If not, please point it out. I know it's all about the subject-verb concord.

thank you.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 9:36:20 AM

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dave freak wrote:


I also heard native speakers speaking:

e. My favourite fruit is the apple, which I would make into:

f. My favourite fruits are the apples.


I would have to disagree with your last bit. The singular 'the apple' is the concept, the species.

I like apples
but
My favourite fruit is the apple.

If you make it plural
My favourite fruits are....
then you lose that meaning of 'the apple' the concept, the description of the species/item.
If you then add 'the' you are making it specific, so it sounds incomplete
My favourite fruits are the apples. --- Which apples?
It could only work if you are talking about several different fruits (eg varieties of apples), which are then specified.
eg
My favourite fruits are the apples bred from traditional varieties in Normandy and Alsace.

edit - I thought this was called fish, just checked, it is. I will have to read the whole thread, I have obviously missed a few segues! Whistle
leonAzul
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 9:37:45 AM

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dave freak wrote:
Dragon, Leon - well posted. You resolved my doubts, which I really laud. Cheers.

Following your way of thinking I built up the following sentences, which I would like you to look at in terms of grammar. These sentences tie in closely with this thread, so I don't think it's impolite to put them here.

a. My favourite fruit is apple. (my opinion: acceptable)

b. My favourite fruit is apples. (my opinion: correct)

c. My favourite fruit is apples and oranges. (my opinion: wrong)

d. My favourite fruits are apples and bananas. (my opinion: correct)

I also heard native speakers speaking:

e. My favourite fruit is the apple, which I would make into:

f. My favourite fruits are the apples.


You have a good ear; "b." and "d." are indeed correct.

Sentences "e." and "f." are also grammatically viable, but they do not sound like colloquial English.


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
dave freak
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 9:46:07 AM
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Thank you, guys. Really appreciate it. I'm sometimes really confused when I can hear some natives' speech. That's why I gave as examples the sentences 'e' and 'f'. I said they were acceptable to my ear (which doesn't mean they really are), nonetheless, I would not speak like this. I will be awaiting other responses.
leonAzul
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 10:01:58 AM

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dave freak wrote:
Thank you, guys. Really appreciate it. I'm sometimes really confused when I can hear some natives' speech. That's why I gave as examples the sentences 'e' and 'f'. I said they were acceptable to my ear (which doesn't mean they really are), nonetheless, I would not speak like this. I will be awaiting other responses.

That is an excellent attitude to have. It is good to be flexible in one's listening, and consistent in one's expression.

A comment was once made that someone could imagine me speaking like George W. Bush. The truth is that I speak very much like Rudy Giuliani.

Despite where I currently reside, I am very much a "Nooyawka", or more precisely, a "Lawn Guy Lander".
Dancing


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
boa
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 6:33:48 AM
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It's all great but the problem is still unsolved. I see that

"a piece of fruit" has two meanings

1) A whole piece like "one apple"
2) A piece like "a slice, a part of an apple"

Isn't it confusing? I think it may be. So, how to make it clear? My suggestions.

1) a piece of a piece of fruit (???)
2) To add some explanation. May I have a piece of this fruit after it has been cut in pieces. (???)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 7:28:35 AM

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No, it is not confusing, in real life.
Possibly it is in a theoretical world, where you do not know anything other than the sentence - you cannot see any fruit, or the fish on the plate.
However in real life, you can see whether there are "pieces of fruit" (whole apples and pears) or "pieces of fruit" (slices of melon). Experience tells you that raspberries are not normally cut into slices and melons are not eaten whole.

If you feel there is some reason that it is very important to be so very specific in a written composition, you would have to add some context to show which you mean.

"The hero dived across the table and rolled on the floor, throwing a slice of fruit to distract the gunman."
"The hero dived across the table and rolled on the floor, throwing a fruit to distract the gunman."

(Even in this case, the author would normally write "an apple" or "slice of melon" - not "fruit")

The solution really is to look at what the person is speaking about, even if you do not know what it is called - is it so big that you would expect to cut it in pieces or not?

When speaking the solution is just to use normal phrases, not get into "Can I have a piece of a slice of this fruit after it has been cut into pieces?", but just say "Can I have a slice, please?" or "Can I have a segment of this fruit, please?"

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
boa
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 8:19:41 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

No, it is not confusing, in real life.
Possibly it is in a theoretical world, where you do not know anything other than the sentence - you cannot see any fruit, or the fish on the plate.

However in real life, you can see whether there are "pieces of fruit" (whole apples and pears) or "pieces of fruit" (slices of melon).



Exactly, this is where a problem starts. For example, you see some fruit on a plate. The fruit is not cut into pieces. You want to try only a part of this fruit (a slice, segment etc.) and you say.
- Can I have a piece of this fruit?

What will you get?

Well, I hope now you see that the respondent is likely to understand that you mean a whole piece of fruit, that is, a whole apple for instance, while you mean only a piece of an apple (fruit).

I am not saying that this kind of misunderstanding is a big deal in real life. But it's about the right way to put it in words.
Tovarish
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 8:41:08 AM

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Joined: 9/2/2009
Posts: 11,109
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Location: Booligal, New South Wales, Australia
Sheep and sheep.
towan52
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 12:09:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 1,679
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Location: Midland, Texas, United States
While I was eating a slice of fish and a fillet of orange, I penned a limerick of enormous entertainment value:

The Ukrainian is known for his charm,
For his wit and reluctance to harm,
Neither insults nor rude quips,
Would ever pass his lips,
His words are like erudite balm.



"Today I was a hero. I rescued some beer that was trapped in a bottle"
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 3:57:56 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,129
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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
boa wrote:
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

No, it is not confusing, in real life.
Possibly it is in a theoretical world, where you do not know anything other than the sentence - you cannot see any fruit, or the fish on the plate.

However in real life, you can see whether there are "pieces of fruit" (whole apples and pears) or "pieces of fruit" (slices of melon).



Exactly, this is where a problem starts. For example, you see some fruit on a plate. The fruit is not cut into pieces. You want to try only a part of this fruit (a slice, segment etc.) and you say.
- Can I have a piece of this fruit?

What will you get?

Well, I hope now you see that the respondent is likely to understand that you mean a whole piece of fruit, that is, a whole apple for instance, while you mean only a piece of an apple (fruit).

I am not saying that this kind of misunderstanding is a big deal in real life. But it's about the right way to put it in words.

Colloquially, if someone wanted an entire fruit, they would say, "May I have an apple, please?"

If they only wanted a part, one way to ask would be, "Would you cut off a slice of melon for me, please?"



"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 7:04:51 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 40,345
Neurons: 321,062
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Thanks for All the Fish, towan!
Did you ever know you can save someone's day with a limerick ;-)


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Litvinenko
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 7:13:44 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/2012
Posts: 185
Neurons: 851
Are you waking up early or just sleeping late?

A perfect design, with no designer.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 7:38:13 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 40,345
Neurons: 321,062
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
I don't know if I've been waking up at all lately ;-)


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Litvinenko
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 8:07:36 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/2012
Posts: 185
Neurons: 851
You are drinking too much vodka

A perfect design, with no designer.
Audiendus
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 8:09:05 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 4,626
Neurons: 801,929
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
On the subject of limericks –

Most people who post in this forum
Behave with exquisite decorum,
But some argue the toss
While failing to cross
Some grammatical pons asinorum.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 8:22:16 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 40,345
Neurons: 321,062
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
I don't drink vodka. Today I took a Kossu schnapps after the RUS victory.
I'm a beer lover, in affordable measures.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
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