# Couple vs. Few: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 25, 2024
A couple generally refers to two or a pair, whereas few signifies a small number, typically more than two but not many.

## Key Differences

A couple is often used to denote exactly two items or individuals, whereas few indicates a small, indefinite number, usually more than two but less than several.
In usage, couple is more specific, often implying a pair of things or people closely associated, while few is vaguer, indicating a small quantity without exactness.
The term couple can also imply a romantic partnership, whereas few carries no such connotation and strictly refers to quantity.
When precision is needed, couple is used to specify two, but few is used to suggest a small, indeterminate amount, providing less precision.
In colloquial language, couple may sometimes be used loosely to mean a small number, but few is never used to specify exactly two.

## Comparison Chart

### Number Specificity

Refers specifically to two.
Refers to a small number, more than two.

### Usage Precision

More precise, indicating exactly two.
Less precise, indicating a small group.

### Connotation

Can imply a romantic partnership.
No romantic connotation, just quantity.

### Indefiniteness

Less often used indefinitely.
Often used to indicate an indefinite amount.

### Colloquial Variation

Sometimes used loosely for a small number.
Always refers to more than two.

## Couple and Few Definitions

#### Couple

Two items or people together.
A couple of friends came over.

#### Few

A small number of items or people.
A few students remained after class.

#### Couple

A small number, informally.
Just a couple more minutes.

#### Few

Not many, but more than one.
She read a few pages of the book.

#### Couple

Two of the same kind.
I need a couple of batteries.

#### Few

A small, indefinite amount.
Only a few know the truth.

#### Couple

A pair forming a unit.
She bought a couple of tickets.

#### Few

A handful, not many.
He had a few friends over.

#### Couple

A romantic partnership.
The couple celebrated their anniversary.

#### Few

Some, but not a large number.
Few opportunities arise like this.

#### Couple

Two items of the same kind; a pair.

#### Few

Amounting to or consisting of a small number
One of my few bad habits. See Usage Note at less.

#### Couple

Something that joins or connects two things together; a link.

## FAQs

#### Does couple always mean two?

Typically, but it can be used loosely for a small number.

#### Is couple used in formal writing?

It's used, but with precise meaning for two.

#### Can few mean only two?

No, few typically implies more than two.

#### Are few and several the same?

No, few is less than several.

#### Can couple be used for groups?

Informally, but it usually means two.

#### Does few have a specific number?

No, few is indefinite but suggests a small quantity.

#### Is few ever used for pairs?

Few generally implies more than two.

#### Is couple only for romantic pairs?

Not always, it can refer to any pair.

#### Can few refer to a large number?

No, few indicates a small number.

#### Is couple formal or informal?

It can be both, but more precise in formal contexts.

#### Can couple mean several?

In informal use, sometimes, but it's not precise.

#### Is few a vague term?

Yes, it's intentionally indefinite.

#### Is couple a noun or verb?

It's primarily a noun, but can be used as a verb.

#### Can couple refer to similar items?

Yes, it can refer to two similar items.

#### Can couple refer to non-romantic pairs?

Yes, it can refer to any two items or individuals.

#### Does few always imply scarcity?

Often, but context matters.

#### Can few be used quantitatively?

Yes, but without exact numbers.

#### Does few have a negative connotation?

It can, suggesting not as many as hoped for.

#### Is few used in mathematics?

Rarely, as it lacks numerical precision.

#### Can couple and few be interchangeable?

In informal contexts, sometimes, but not precisely.