British Culture & Expressions

Why do British bring grapes to people in hospital?

(Note: passive sentences)

The beginning of long-running tradition

Spanish tradition “The Twelve Grapes of Luck” dates back from at least 1895. Surprisingly, in the UK there is also a bit of a long-running tradition of taking a bunch of grapes, but when visiting a loved one in hospital.

One theory supports that all started back in 1928 when Johanna Brandt published her best-known publication The Grape Cure. The book is said to have been written after Brandt claimed to have cured herself of stomach cancer. Her health papers were published across Europe and by 1945 British nurses were using grape juice as a hydrating agent for the patients with amputations. As grapes were known to contain many essential vitamins and minerals, they were taken regularly into hospitals by visitors.

“The grape is highly antiseptic and a powerful solvent of inorganic matter deposits, fatty degeneration, morbid and malignant growths. It acts as a drastic eliminator of evil while building new tissue.” Brandt claimed.

Best benefits of eating grapes for general health

Grapes are far from a miracle cure but still provide multiple benefits for our general health. There are over 10,000 varieties of grapes in the world. Many of these varieties come in different colours and forms and supply different essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to our overall health.

Grapes have been associated with prevention of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and constipation.

Grape Production and Demand

About 30,000 square miles of land are planted with grapes worldwide. There is an annual production of 150 trillion pounds of grapes.

Much of the world’s grape cultivation is intended for the production of wine. Over 60% of the world’s wine is consumed within Europe, with Italy, Spain, and France dominating the world’s wine export market. Other important grape-producing countries include Turkey, Chile, Argentina, Iran, South Africa, and Australia.

Text Grammar: The importance of passive voice in formal writing

Note the presence of the passive voice along the above text. Generally, passive sentences are most used in:

Academic writing does not want to focus on who is doing an action. The focus is on who is receiving or experiencing the action. The passive voice allows highlighting the most important events by placing them at the beginning of the sentence.

Business writing uses passive also to relay negative information without directly placing the blame on anyone. Although, in most cases, is preferable to use active strong verbs.

News writing uses passive voice in Headings.

  • Often use the passive structure to put emphasis on the action rather than the
    agent, often for dramatic effect.
  • It is not always necessary to show the agent i.e. when the agent is obvious from
    context, unknown or unimportant.
  • You can also use the passive voice to eliminate redundancy i.e. by not
    unnecessarily repeating the agent.

*In Bold: Words to remember.



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