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2 Oct 2011 — A Couple


How would you improve this sentence? 

A couple friends are joining us for lunch.

A couple friends are joining us for lunch.


Select one or more options and read the feedback.



A couple friends are joining us for lunch.


A couple are joining us for lunch.  


A couple of friends are joining us for lunch. 

"A couple without of is firmly established in American speech and in general writing (though not the more elevated varieties) when it is used directly before a plural noun or a number word.  Before more, a couple is used without of in both British and American English and in this context is often preferred even by American commentators." (Merriam-Webster 302)

"The type 'a couple weeks later'. i.e. with no of between a couple and weeks, is well established in AmE."
"A couple of = about two is used informally (I'll just tbe a couple of minutes = in approximately two minutes). (Burchfield 187)

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage. Reprint ed., Merriam-Webster, 1994. 

Fowler's Modern English Usage. R. W. Burchfield and H. W. Fowler, revised 3rd ed., Oxford UP, 2004.