I have a few questions.
Are these sentences correct? If they aren't, why?

1. 'My favourite fruit is an apple.'
'My favourite fruit is apple.'
'My favourite fruit are apples.'
'My favourite fruit is apples.'

2. 'The cheapest food is cakes.'

3. 'She wanted to go to the library because she wanted to borrow books.'
'She wanted to go to the library because she wants to borrow books.'

Do help me out. Thanks!

1 2
I choose " My favourite fruit is apples "

" The cheapest food is cake. "

She wanted to go to the library because she ( wanted ) to borrow books. ( the main clause and the subodinate clause should be in parallel in terms of the tenses )
Is it possible to use a noun withou article in English?

"The cheapest food is cake" or "The cheapest food is a cake"? Which one is better to write or maybe both.... I am not sure, English not my first language.

Thanks. Good luck!
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
As far as I know, noun without an article in front is normally used to mean something in general.

The use of ' a ' means referring to a single thing.

The use of ' the ' for the purpose of specifying the particular thing.

eg. Life is short, we'd better live to the fullestEmotion: smile. We don't say a life or the life since it means the general life.
Thanks for good explanation.Emotion: wink
shouldn't it be ,"the cheapest food are cakes"...is that correct or im wrong?
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I think ' is ' is correct. The singular subject goes with the singular verb.

The use of plural noun after the verb is very much dependent on its necessity at times.

eg. To organize such a benefit concert, I would rather use local talent. ( of course we might choose more than 1 person to the concert but still we say ' talent ' instead of ' talents ' ) because the point is not on the number of people.

Since there is no clear-cut explanation in this respect, I see it from this perspective and whether they are right or wrong to say so is well beyond me, hah Emotion: stick out tongue
1. a. 'My favourite fruit is an apple.'
b. 'My favourite fruit is apple.'
c. 'My favourite fruit are apples.'
d. 'My favourite fruit is apples.'

- You don't like an apple in particular. 'My favourite fruit is an apple from Brazil, but I don't know (or don't remember) exactly what apple it is'. Then option a. is out.
- 'My favourite fruit' requires a singular verb. Thus, it couldn't be letter c.
- As long as 'My favourite fruit is', again, needs a singular object, the only correct answer is letter b.

2. The cheapest food is cake. (See the explanation above.)

3. Both. But if she has already bought it, the second one wouldn't make sence.
The following are both correct:
1. (in the singular) - My favourite fruit is THE apple
2. (in the plural) - My favourite fruit IS apples"

Alternatively, turn it around:
1. (in the singular) - THE apple is my favourite fruit.
2. (in the plural) - Apples ARE my favourite fruit.

EXPLANATION: "fruit" is a mass noun (in this context), so it always takes the singular. The verb "to be" takes its form from the left hand item. Compare the following two (correct) sentences:
3. My favourite music IS The Beatles
4. The Beatles ARE my favourite music

The word "the" makes apple generic, for some curious reason.

"My favourite fruit ARE ...." is always wrong, for reasons stated above.
"My favourite fruit is AN apple" is wrong because it's not generic.

The suggested variant "My favourite fruit is apple" is meaningless in practice. Please observe that, in this example, the word apple is being used as a mass noun, not as a count noun. (As in the phrase "I like apple"). In this context, "apple" has a different meaning - perhaps something like "the flavour of apple" or "the concept of apple". This may NOT complete the sentence "My favourite fruit is...". That would be nonsense. But "My favourite FLAVOUR is apple" makes perfect sense because the right-hand-side is the same kind of thing as the left-hand-side.

Try out our live chat room.
Show more