Besides the fact that 'i frutti' can assume a metaphoric meaning which 'la frutta' does not have, is there any other difference between these two wordings?

1 Answer 1


Yes. Besides the metaphoric meaning you already mentioned (that is widely used), in gereral frutta refers to a type of food, whereas frutti indicates multiple pieces of fruit grouped according to some criterion, usually the fact that they come from a given plant. For instance, you say i frutti di quell'albero sono molto dolci ("the fruits of that tree are very sweat"), and la frutta è un alimento sano ("fruit is healthy"). As usual, handle with care: you may be tempted to say porta i frutti to mean "bring the fruit", but you should use frutta instead. There are grey areas: i frutti più buoni sono quelli appena colti and la frutta più buona è quella appena colta sound both fine to me, but YMMV and regionalisms may kick in of course.

  • It is yet again one of those words with a double plural, like "osso" , and the difference between the two plurals follows the same rule. There was a question about this but I can't find it any more. Mar 14, 2015 at 7:29
  • 2
    To complement the remark by @writingthesis, keep in mind that frutta used to be a plural form of frutto (le frutta). As for some other double plurals (le membra / i membri, le budella / i budelli etc.) the “neuter” one (the one in -a) refers to a generic set of similar things, while the masculine one (in -i) refers to several distinct items.
    – DaG
    Mar 14, 2015 at 8:08

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