I was looking at the Collins Cobuild Compact English Learner's Dictionary for the word 'patato' and it had this definition:

Potatoes are vegetables with brown or red skins and white insides.

Why 'vegetables' and not just 'vegetable' when we are talking just about one kind of vegetables, potatoes?
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Because the talk about "multiple items," thus the plural.

The potato is a vegetable.
A potato is a vegetable.
What about "Broccoli is a vegetable" or " Broccoli is vegetable?"

Which is one is acceptable?
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Is broccoli a vegetable?
You need the article.

(As far as I'm concerned, broccoli is a vegetable. Though I never considered a potato a vegetable before. This from the mother's point of view of what's "good for you.")
If you want to keep the word "broccoli" then you really ought to consider it as a plural noun.


Broccoli are vegetables.

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Let's listen to someone writing for the gardening industry:

New Respect for Broccoli

by Lindsay Bond Totten
Scripps Howard News Service

Broccoli is a vegetable that stirs strong passions. It's one of the most nutritious green vegetables we can eat, while reportedly possessing significant cancer-preventing compounds.

At Yahoo:

1 - 6 of about 10 for "broccoli are vegetables"
1 - 10 of about 142 for "broccoli is a vegetable"
No, broccoli is not a plural - 'broccoli are vegetables' is incorrect.
If I'm not mistaken, Believer's question has not been answered.

He wants to know why, according to the Collin's Dictionary, 'Potatoes are vegetables with brown or red skins and white insides' and not 'Potatoes are a vegetable with brown or red skins and white insides'
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