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Which of these is correct? “Types of citrus fruit” or “types of citrus fruits”? I suspect it is the first example, but I would really like to know what the grammar rule governing these situations actually reads. What determines whether the object of a preposition should be singular or plural when it modifies a plural noun? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

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  • In fact the word 'fruit' is used as its own plural more times than 'fruits', we would normally say 'a bowl of fruit' for example. But to answer your more general question the singular is most often used after 'types', for instance 'types of truck', 'types of computer' and so on. I can't give you a grammatical rule but I believe that it has more to do with the noun preceding the preposition than with the preposition itself. We don't say 'lots of car' for instance (although we do say "lots of fruit" but as I said 'fruit' is often its own plural).
    – BoldBen
    Apr 16 at 5:58
  • @BoldBen "Fruit", in these cases of apparently missing s for a plural, is not considered to represent the concept in terms of units (whole fruits), but as a mass, and is used according to the uncountable aspect of the concept; as such it has no plural. (OALD: fruit [C,U] part of a plant containing seeds […]).
    – LPH
    Apr 16 at 7:51
  • Does this answer your question? Types of things vs. types of thing
    – LPH
    Apr 16 at 7:57
  • See this, it might answer your question fully: english.stackexchange.com/q/5539/349876
    – LPH
    Apr 16 at 7:59
  • @LPH an Ngram search comparing 'many fruit' and 'many fruits' shows fairly similar frequencies for both phrases indeed around 1900 'many fruit' temporarily exceeded 'many fruits' in popularity. I think that this argues for 'fruit' being used as a plural.
    – BoldBen
    Apr 16 at 8:23

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