“Couple Of” or “Couple” – Difference Explained (+Examples)

Marcus Froland

Do you know the difference between ‘couple of’ and ‘couple’? Understanding the difference can help you communicate more clearly.

In this article, we’ll look at the definitions of ‘couple of’ and ‘couple’, provide examples to illustrate their differences, and discuss when each should be used.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘Couple of’ refers to a small number or amount, usually two or three, while ‘couple’ implies two people or objects associated in some way.
  • ‘Couple of’ describes a limited quantity of objects, people, or ideas, whereas ‘couple’ conveys the meaning of two distinct entities connected in an intimate or material sense.
  • ‘Couple of’ can imply friendship, family ties, or commonalities, while ‘couple’ can be used to denote a romantic relationship or close connection.
  • ‘Couple of’ is often used in daily conversation to refer to a few items, while ‘couple’ indicates a specific number of items or people connected by a relationship.

Definition of Couple of

A couple of means a small number or amount, usually two or three. It is often used to describe a limited quantity of something, such as objects, people, or ideas. When something is referred to as ‘a couple of,’ it implies that the number is small; not more than a few.

For example, if you hear someone say they have a couple of friends coming over for dinner, it means that only two or three friends will be arriving. In addition, if you were to say that you’re going to buy a couple of apples at the store, it would mean that you plan on purchasing only two or three apples.

As such, when using ‘couple’ in this way it should be read with an understanding of its context and meaning – small numbers only!

Definition of Couple

Using the term ‘couple of’ suggests a small number, while simply saying ‘couple’ implies two people.

The term ‘couple’ is used to describe a pair of objects or individuals that are associated in some way. It can refer to two people who are related, married, living together, or just friends.

For example, we might say ‘John and Mary are a couple’ to denote they are romantically involved or have some kind of close relationship. Alternatively, if you said ‘I bought a couple’ it would imply that you purchased only two items.

Regardless of how it’s used, the word ‘couple’ conveys the meaning of two distinct entities connected in either an intimate or material sense.

Examples of Couple of

You already know a couple of examples of when ‘couple’ is used to describe two people or things associated in some way, right? Think about a married couple, a couple of friends going out for dinner, or even two siblings playing together.

The phrase ‘couple of’ can also refer to two things that are related in some way, such as a couple of books on the same subject or a couple of days off from work. In both cases, the word ‘couple’ implies that there are two distinct items being discussed.

However, it can also imply that there is something connecting them—like friendship or family ties—or that they have something in common—like genre or purpose. Whatever the case may be, ‘couple’ and ‘couple of’ offer an efficient way to refer to two distinct items.

Examples of Couple

When it comes to two people or things associated in some way, ‘couple’ and ‘couple of’ are used to refer to them.

The distinction between the two is rather subtle; ‘couple’ implies an exact two items, while ‘couple of’ can mean a few but not necessarily exactly two.

For example, when referring to a group of friends, one might say ‘there’s a couple’ if there were only two members present, but would use ‘a couple of’ if there were more than two.

Similarly, someone might talk about having ‘a couple’ of apples for lunch, meaning they had exactly two apples. In contrast, they could have said ‘a couple of apples,’ which could imply any amount greater than one up to several.

Common Usage of Couple of Vs. Couple

You’ll often hear people use ‘couple of’ when referring to a few items. ‘A couple’ implies there are exactly two.

In daily conversation, the phrase ‘a couple of’ is used to indicate that there are a small number of something. For example, if someone says they need ‘a couple of eggs,’ it probably means two or three.

On the other hand, if someone says they need ‘a couple,’ this usually implies two exact items—like when you refer to a married couple. When used in this way, ‘couple’ does not generally imply more than two items or people; it simply means two individuals connected by marriage or another type of relationship.


In conclusion, it’s important to understand the difference between ‘couple of’ and ‘couple’.

When you mean a small number or amount of something, you use ‘couple of’.

Whereas when referring to two people in a romantic relationship, you use ‘couple’.

With these examples in mind, you should be able to differentiate between the two terms when using them.

Remember: if there is an amount involved, go with ‘couple of’, but if it’s two people that are connected romantically or socially, opt for using ‘couple’.