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I talk about "awkward" in context of words, phrases etc. I understand that "awkward" means that something is grammatically correct but unnatural and can't be used. It's ok:

I like apples.

And is the next sentence "awkward"? Or may be are there some other suitable adjectives to describe it?

I like an apple.

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    This is probably best tackled by looking at a better thought out scale of 'acceptability' of constructions. Look up 'Svartvik + Quirk + acceptability' here or on the internet. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 8 '15 at 16:23
  • Linguists like McCawley have quite nuanced positions on relative syntactic 'acceptability'. McCawley suggests it's really a measure of how difficult a sentence is to contextualize -- how much effort one has to put into imagining a context where it could make sense. – John Lawler Nov 8 '15 at 16:36
  • I like an apple is not broken, or awkward. It's appropriate in certain contexts and not others. "Awkward" refers either to improperly articulated motion (prototypically human body motion), or, metaphorically, to socially incompetent behavior. To say someone else's sentence is awkward is to say you could figure out a better way to say it, where "better" is yours to define. To have your own sentences feel awkward means there's something about them you don't like, though you don't know the reason. Frequently this is caused by the way sentences sound. – John Lawler Nov 8 '15 at 17:34
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In this context, I would say "awkward" means that your sentence is grammatically correct but not idiomatic. It is not wrong but it is not what a native speaker would say in this situation.

In the case of the two sentences you have given, there is a difference in meaning. "I like apples." = You like this fruit. You like eating them; maybe you like their appearance. A general statement. "I like an apple." This requires a context. You might say this in answer to someone or in the course of a conversation about which fruit you like to take in your packed lunch.
The difference is slight, but obvious to a native speaker.

I hope that helps.

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