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Couple vs. Few: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || 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.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 25, 2024
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.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 25, 2024
The term couple can also imply a romantic partnership, whereas few carries no such connotation and strictly refers to quantity.
Huma Saeed
Jan 25, 2024
When precision is needed, couple is used to specify two, but few is used to suggest a small, indeterminate amount, providing less precision.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024
In colloquial language, couple may sometimes be used loosely to mean a small number, but few is never used to specify exactly two.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Number Specificity

Refers specifically to two.
Refers to a small number, more than two.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

Usage Precision

More precise, indicating exactly two.
Less precise, indicating a small group.
Huma Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

Connotation

Can imply a romantic partnership.
No romantic connotation, just quantity.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

Indefiniteness

Less often used indefinitely.
Often used to indicate an indefinite amount.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

Colloquial Variation

Sometimes used loosely for a small number.
Always refers to more than two.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024
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Couple and Few Definitions

Couple

Two items or people together.
A couple of friends came over.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Few

A small number of items or people.
A few students remained after class.
Huma Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Couple

A small number, informally.
Just a couple more minutes.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Few

Not many, but more than one.
She read a few pages of the book.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Couple

Two of the same kind.
I need a couple of batteries.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Few

A small, indefinite amount.
Only a few know the truth.
Harlon Moss
Dec 13, 2023

Couple

A pair forming a unit.
She bought a couple of tickets.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Few

A handful, not many.
He had a few friends over.
Harlon Moss
Dec 13, 2023

Couple

A romantic partnership.
The couple celebrated their anniversary.
Huma Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Few

Some, but not a large number.
Few opportunities arise like this.
Harlon Moss
Dec 13, 2023

Couple

Two items of the same kind; a pair.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Few

Amounting to or consisting of a small number
One of my few bad habits. See Usage Note at less.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Couple

Something that joins or connects two things together; a link.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

FAQs

Does couple always mean two?

Typically, but it can be used loosely for a small number.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

Is couple used in formal writing?

It's used, but with precise meaning for two.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Can few mean only two?

No, few typically implies more than two.
Huma Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

Are few and several the same?

No, few is less than several.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Can couple be used for groups?

Informally, but it usually means two.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

Does few have a specific number?

No, few is indefinite but suggests a small quantity.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024

Is few ever used for pairs?

Few generally implies more than two.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Is couple only for romantic pairs?

Not always, it can refer to any pair.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

Can few refer to a large number?

No, few indicates a small number.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Is couple formal or informal?

It can be both, but more precise in formal contexts.
Janet White
Jan 25, 2024

Can couple mean several?

In informal use, sometimes, but it's not precise.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Is few a vague term?

Yes, it's intentionally indefinite.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Is couple a noun or verb?

It's primarily a noun, but can be used as a verb.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Can couple refer to similar items?

Yes, it can refer to two similar items.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024

Can couple refer to non-romantic pairs?

Yes, it can refer to any two items or individuals.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024

Does few always imply scarcity?

Often, but context matters.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Can few be used quantitatively?

Yes, but without exact numbers.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Does few have a negative connotation?

It can, suggesting not as many as hoped for.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Is few used in mathematics?

Rarely, as it lacks numerical precision.
Janet White
Jan 25, 2024

Can couple and few be interchangeable?

In informal contexts, sometimes, but not precisely.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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