Wanda the waitress gets annoyed with diners who confuse couple and few…
Many people use the words couple and few interchangeably. Even though they mean similar things, there’s a slight difference between them...
When it comes to a number amount, a couple means exactly two.
Using the phrase a couple of sounds more casual than specifying two. It’s easy to remember that a couple means two, because it’s the same as the noun phrase, a couple– as in two people who are in a relationship.
Few can mean two, but it can also mean three–maybe four. In other words, a few means a small number that isn’t exact.
Two Hints: Notice how few can have the article a in front of it (or not). The noun phrase a couple always starts with a. The second hint is that if you mean more than a few of something, use several instead.