“A Couple Of Times” or “A Couple Times” – Difference Explained

Marcus Froland

Are you unsure if the phrase “a couple of times” or “a couple times” is correct? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! This article will explain the difference between these two phrases and provide examples of how to use them correctly.

Additionally, we’ll discuss common misconceptions about proper grammar and punctuation with this phrase. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of which one is right for your sentence structure.

Key Takeaways

  • ‘A couple of times’ suggests two distinct, separate moments
  • ‘A couple times’ implies a larger, unspecified amount
  • ‘A couple of times’ refers to an exact number, usually two or three times
  • ‘A couple times’ is more vague and can mean any number of times

What Is The Difference

The difference between ‘a couple of times’ and ‘a couple times’ is significant. Both phrases are used to express a small, but exact number of occurrences or events that have happened.

However, ‘a couple of times’ suggests two distinct, separate moments while ‘a couple times’ implies a larger amount that is not specified.

To illustrate this further, consider the following examples:

If you were asked how many times you had seen a movie, it would be more appropriate to answer ‘I’ve seen it a couple of times’ rather than ‘I’ve seen it a couple times.’

This is because the former implies two precise viewings while the latter could imply any number between two and an unspecified higher limit.

A Couple of Times Vs. a Couple Times

You’ve likely heard both phrases, but there’s a key distinction between them that’s worth noting.

A couple of times refers to an exact number and implies two or three times, while a couple times is more vague and could mean any number of times.

Here are 3 points to consider:

  1. A couple of times is usually used when the speaker wants to be precise about the amount of occurrences.

  2. A couple times suggests that it happened multiple times, but not exactly how many.

  3. The phrase ‘a couple’ can be used as either singular or plural depending on context, making it difficult to determine which one should be used in certain cases.

Examples of Usage

You’ll hear different uses of these phrases depending on the context.

For example, if you’ve asked a friend how their day was, they might respond by saying ‘It was okay – I just had a couple of times when things got stressful.’ This emphasizes the fact that although there were some difficult moments, overall it wasn’t too bad.

On the other hand, if someone said ‘I could only go out a couple times this week,’ it would mean that they didn’t have many opportunities to go out at all.

Both phrases are useful in communicating specific ideas and information clearly.

Proper Grammar and Punctuation

Using proper grammar and punctuation can make a big difference in how your message is conveyed. Here are three examples of how using correct grammar and punctuation can ensure that your message is clear:

  1. Writing ‘a couple of times’ instead of ‘a couple times’ implies more than two occurrences, which may be important to the context of your message.

  2. Punctuating correctly shows readers where you’re making a pause or change in thought, allowing them to better understand what you’re trying to express.

  3. Using formal language will demonstrate that you have taken care with your writing and show respect for the reader’s time.

Common Misconceptions

Many people mistakenly believe that proper grammar and punctuation are not important. However, one of the most common misconceptions is the difference between saying ‘a couple of times’ and ‘a couple times’.

The former is technically correct while the latter is incorrect. Generally, when using a number followed by a unit of time or measure, it should be preceded by ‘a couple of’. For example, instead of saying ‘I ran a couple miles’, you would say ‘I ran a couple of miles’. Similarly, you would say ‘I’ve seen that movie a couple of times’ rather than ‘I’ve seen that movie a couple times’.


You’ve now learned the difference between ‘a couple of times’ and ‘a couple times’.

While both phrases are commonly used, ‘a couple of times’ is the correct version to use when expressing something that has happened multiple times.

Make sure you use proper grammar and punctuation when using either phrase in your writing.

With practice, you’ll get it right every time!