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Plural of Broccoli: Understanding the Linguistic Conundrum

plural of broccoli

Broccoli, a word as nutritious as its referred vegetable, often stirs up a garden of questions regarding its plural form. This verdant veggie, a staple in kitchens worldwide, is more than just a side dish on dinner plates; it represents a linguistic curiosity that bridges the gap between language and gastronomy. In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the plural of “broccoli,” exploring its singular and plural forms, understanding its etymology and usage, and serving up examples that illustrate its correct application in sentences. We’ll also clear up common mistakes and confusions, answering frequently asked questions to ensure you’re as confident in discussing broccoli as you are in cooking it.

The Singular and Plural of Broccoli

Interestingly, “broccoli” is one of those English words borrowed from Italian that retains its Italian plural form in both singular and plural usage in English. Therefore, “broccoli” refers to both a single stalk and multiple stalks of the vegetable.

broccoli etymology

Understanding Broccoli

Definition of Broccoli:

Broccoli, classified under the species Brassica oleracea, is a green vegetable similar to cauliflower but with dense clusters of tight green flower buds. It's known for its nutritional benefits, including high vitamin C and dietary fiber content.

Usage of Broccoli:

The word “broccoli” comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, meaning “the flowering crest of a cabbage,” and has been adopted into English without modification. Its usage transcends culinary contexts, often appearing in discussions about health, diet, and agriculture.

Use of Broccoli in Sentences

  1. In a Garden: “I’m amazed at how much broccoli has grown in our garden this year; each plant is thriving.
  2. Nutritional Advice: “Broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients, packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber.
  3. Cooking: “For tonight’s dinner, I’m roasting broccoli with garlic and lemon to bring out its natural flavors.
  4. Grocery Shopping:Could you add broccoli to the shopping list? I plan to make a stir-fry this weekend.”
  5. Dietary Preferences: “As a vegetarian, I rely on vegetables like broccoli to ensure I’m getting enough protein and vitamins.”

Common Mistakes and Confusions

  • Broccolis: A common mistake is adding an “s” to make “broccoli” plural, which is unnecessary since “broccoli” already serves as both singular and plural.
  • Broccolo: While “broccolo” is the singular form in Italian, using it in English might confuse listeners or readers unfamiliar with the Italian language.
  • Broccoli vs. Broccolini: People often confuse broccoli with broccolini, the latter being a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli, known for its longer stalks and smaller florets.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Is “broccolis” ever correct?
    No, “broccolis” is not the standard plural form in English; “broccoli” is correct for both singular and plural contexts.
  • How can I tell if a recipe calls for one broccoli or multiple?
    Context is key. Usually, a recipe will specify the amount, such as “one head of broccoli” or “two cups of broccoli,” to indicate quantity.
  • Can “broccoli” refer to both the whole plant and its individual florets?
    Yes, “broccoli” can refer to the entire vegetable, including the stalk and florets, or just the florets, depending on the context.


The exploration of “broccoli” from its singular to plural form reveals not just a linguistic journey but a cultural and culinary one. Understanding the correct usage of “broccoli” enriches our language and enhances our appreciation for this versatile vegetable. By embracing the simplicity and complexity of words like “broccoli,” we cultivate a deeper relationship with language, food, and health. Whether you’re penning a recipe, planning a meal, or simply curious about culinary linguistics, remembering the nuances of words like “broccoli” ensures clarity and correctness in communication.


Can ‘broccoli’ be pluralized?

No, ‘broccoli’ is considered an uncountable noun in English, so it does not have a plural form.

What should I say when I want to refer to multiple pieces of broccoli?

You can use phrases like ‘heads of broccoli’ to refer to multiple pieces, as broccoli is typically sold in ‘heads’ of a certain diameter.

What is the etymology of the word ‘broccoli’?

‘Broccoli’ has Italian origins and is derived from the Italian word ‘broccolo’, which means ‘cabbage sprout’ or ‘head’.

Is ‘broccolo’ the plural form of ‘broccoli’?

No, ‘broccolo’ is an older Italian term that refers to a type of cabbage.

Is ‘broccoli’ considered a countable or uncountable noun?

‘Broccoli’ is considered an uncountable noun in English.

Can I say ‘one broccoli’ or ‘two broccolis’?

No, numerical quantifiers cannot be used with ‘broccoli’. It is always used in the singular form.

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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