I'm reading a book which states on many occasions about buying produces, like this:

When a customer buys produce, you have to look up the price in a book.

I was wondering if using "produce" instead of "product" is just plain wrong, or am I missing something?

  • 2
    Well, the customer is not buying a produce. The customer is buying produce. No article. That's a different thing entirely from a product.
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 13, 2018 at 22:13
  • 2
    Produce, in the sense of fruits and vegetables, is "uncountable". Thus it would not be pluralized and the indefinite article would not be used.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 13, 2018 at 22:13
  • And oddly, unlike many uncountables where we do in fact add an "s" when talking about different types of them, we do not do this with produce. Apples and oranges are not different produces. So buying produce, not buying produces.
    – Phil Sweet
    Oct 13, 2018 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


Now, this is produce:

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Whereas a product is ... wait for it ...

  1. something, a thing produced by labor, such as products of farm and factory; or the product of his thought.

  2. a person or thing produced by or resulting from a process, as a natural, social, or historical one; result, as in "He is a product of his time."

  3. the totality of goods or services that a company makes available; output, as in "There's been a marked decrease in product during the past year."

4, In chemistry, a product is a substance obtained from another substance through chemical change.

  1. In math, the product is the result obtained by multiplying two or more quantities together.

Produce isn't ... what's that word? ... quantifiable; one must not put an article in front of it. You could put an article in front of certain words that aren't quantifiable, but only while speaking to a waiter at your local cafe, as in "Can I have a water?" Now produce is not one of those words. No articles.

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