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I happened upon this site in my search as to whether or not one could ever add an "s" to the word lettuce. I understood the "countable" and "uncountable" aspects of the noun. However, these seem to refer to a one-kind/ head of lettuce. What if one is referring to a variety of lettuce(s), as in the varied types found as a planned mixture in salads?
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That's an interesting one - I'm trying to compare it to "fish," which is usually singular, but can take plural when referring to many types of fish. But I cannot recall ever having heard "lettuces" even in the context you describe - Boston, bib, iceberg, etc. I think if you did make it plural, it would be "noticed" but if you left it singular, everyone would understand your meaning. My goal is most of my professional writing is to have the vehicle for the message - the words - not be noticed so that my reader can focus on my meaning. So... I would suggest you use the singular.
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La Min 62I happened upon this site in my search as to whether or not one could ever add an "s" to the word lettuce. I understood the "countable" and "uncountable" aspects of the noun. However, these seem to refer to a one-kind/ head of lettuce. What if one is referring to a variety of lettuce(s), as in the varied types found as a planned mixture in salads?
I believe "fish" can be plural but usually is treated as singular, depending on the context.

John went to the lake yesterday and caught a lot of fish which filled a 5-gallon bucket.

In the lake, there were many types of fish, but not all the fishes are good for eating. Some are too bony.

For lattuce, I don't believe "s" is used for plural. People usually say "two heads of lattuce", not two lattuces.
Goodman
La Min 62I happened upon this site in my search as to whether or not one could ever add an "s" to the word lettuce. I understood the "countable" and "uncountable" aspects of the noun. However, these seem to refer to a one-kind/ head of lettuce. What if one is referring to a variety of lettuce(s), as in the varied types found as a planned mixture in salads?
I believe "fish" can be plural but usually is treated as singular, depending on the context.

John went to the lake yesterday and caught a lot of fish which filled a 5-gallon bucket.

In the lake, there were many types of fish, but not all the fishes are good for eating. Some are too bony.

For lattuce, I don't believe "s" is used for plural. People usually say "two heads of lattuce", not two lattuces.

Lettuce is indeed an odd fish! There seems to be no real reason why you can't just add an -s to make it plural; you can do that for cabbage, which looks incredibly like a lettuce. Yet a Google search shows that the singular lettuce calls up 16 million results whereas lettuces calls up 1.8 million. The fact that lettuces appears at all suggests that at least one in eight folks are not sure.

The majority verdict would seem to be that the plural of lettuce is lettuce, so that's the way to go.

Siggy
I think the English language is changing in both directions myself. We are creating new words as technology and human advances, but bad “ English also takes root in under- privileged neighborhoods across the country. Saidly, it's even spoken among college students. The point I try to make is that incorrect English is used everyday by people and that’s ok. But students should really avoid it.

With regards to vegetables, I think any veggie that resembles a sphere, like cauliflower, cabbage, or lettuce usually takes “a head of” to form the plural, correctly speaking. But I don't believe it's a rule. If someone insists to say “two cabbages”, of course, chances are no one will point him out wrong. It’s an interesting question though. Come to think of it, I never gave it much thought before.
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Yes but not a single one of you has addressed his original question... He isn't talking about multiple heads of romaine or multiple heads of green leaf lettuce. He is talking about multiple heads of different types of lettuce. For instance, would it be better to say:
  • "Fresh-cut Romaine and Iceberg lettuces must be rinsed..." or
  • "Fresh-cut Romaine and Iceberg lettuce must be rinsed..."
AnonymousYes but not a single one of you has addressed his original question... He isn't talking about multiple heads of romaine or multiple heads of green leaf lettuce. He is talking about multiple heads of different types of lettuce. For instance, would it be better to say:
  • "Fresh-cut Romaine and Iceberg lettuces must be rinsed..." or
  • "Fresh-cut Romaine and Iceberg lettuce must be rinsed..."


  • I'm not sure why you joined this discussion nearly three years after the original post, the poster of which seems to be happy with the resonse received.
And not only that, I did indeed address his specific question - in 2006.
Grammar GeekThat's an interesting one - I'm trying to compare it to "fish," which is usually singular, but can take plural when referring to many types of fish. But I cannot recall ever having heard "lettuces" even in the context you describe - Boston, bib, iceberg, etc. I think if you did make it plural, it would be "noticed" but if you left it singular, everyone would understand your meaning. My goal is most of my professional writing is to have the vehicle for the message - the words - not be noticed so that my reader can focus on my meaning. So... I would suggest you use the singular.

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