Your question and the answer could be featured in a future post. Sometimes they take a singular verb, but other times they take a plural verb. Couple implies two of something considered together, a pair. However, those sources also note that a couple without the of is colloquial. The newborn cried for its mother. As I have just come across this question in a proofreading context, I read the foregoing comments with interest.
Many people would say a couple of more dollars, but in that construction the of is dropped: a couple more dollars and a couple too few dollars are correct. It is, however, also a , and these creatures will sometimes find themselves paired with a plural verb, and sometimes with a singular one. Write Right is just a fun uncomplicated blog about writing and being conscious of certain habits to avoid. English is a Germanic language, and such languages commonly place prepositions after their objects, and at the end of sentences. However, if we slightly revise those phrases, of must be put back: a couple of dollars more and a couple of dollars too few are correct. .
That brings to mind a fourth possible category: specific cookies. A grammarian like John Lawler or Edwin Ashworth may be able to explain this. The other point about couple, however is that it also exists as a noun - the couple sitting in the corner are my parents. This prepositional omission is generally avoided in formal writing. She encourages and welcomes questions and comments.
So we hereby challenge anyone who still swears by this dubious principle to relocate the preposition in this sentence: Speak when you are spoken to. Consistency within a sentence is important, of course. According to some grammar sources, either a couple or a couple of is acceptable. The term has been used steadily ever since. You may not like it, but whether or not you like a particular use of a word has very little effect on how tens of millions of other people will use it. But you cannot rehabilate a tunnel or building. It makes me cringe just to say it.
A couple of cars are parked outside. It is safe to say that, in American English, one must decide whether said couple is considered as a united entity already wed or not. So why a few hours or a few cookies, but a few of them? If the subject of a sentence starts out singular, it should remain singular. The dictionary says it means more than a few but not a great number. The of comes in with pronouns, both object pronouns - a few of them, and possessives a few of her lovely mince pies. When a couple means simply two and refers to two non-animate entities, it combines with the plural form of the third person present tense: A couple of places are said to be haunted at the university. People would think you were asking for a bucket that is meant to hold water, but is currently empty.
Keeping it simple and devoid of existential discussion, it is a matter of simple mechanics. This post clears up a couple of those words. May I borrow a couple of dollars? Source of Question, Date of Response Malverne, New York Sat, Jul 5, 2003 Grammar's Response I like the distinction you're trying to make with this word, and my instincts told me you were right. Its would only be appropriate for a grammatically sexless infant or baby, Although if the sexual gender is noon, his or her might still be correctly used. Your sentence does not solve the problem. However, you point out the complexities of English verbs that take prepositions, e.
He or she has a sufficient number of socks unlike the person who has few of them. The most important thing to realize is that , only trends. This entry was posted in and tagged on by. Those who believe the discredited rule about prepositions at the end of a sentence would still object, because the preposition they say must always be followed by its object. Example: The couple exchanged their Christmas gifts. Her easy-to-use helps people write and speak with authority and confidence. How can a few be two when that is what is meant by a couple, and how can several be three and yet still be more than a few, which—I think most people with two eyes and a brain can see—is more than a couple, or two? Example: The couple are to be married on the fifth.
We are scolded about it at least once a year, and without exception those who upbraid us offer no evidence to substantiate their claims. I know Gala apples, and Fuji apples. When the presenting complaint seemed relational, Carl began inviting both partners to attend. It strays from what most consider Standard English. Ask me a question or send a topic suggestion in the Comment section or by the email link in my author description below. In this case, you have taken a clear, simple sentence that everyone has heard and seen many times, and unnecessarily replaced it with a clumsy paraphrase. Oxford University Press, New York.
Hi Ceteach, Here in the States when couple refers to una pareja or un matrimonio it takes the third person singular form in the present tense: A couple is seen through a shop-window near Via Condotti. Erin Feldman is the creator of the blog and she offers guest speaking and one on one assistance for those who want to learn more about writing. I stumbled across this blog and thought the concept was fresh. Please get a pair of gardening gloves from the garage. They were the handmaids of Fred and of Glen.
Thanks for this blog post. That is atrocious, but so is The couple was having dinner in their home. In American English, collective nouns tend to be treated as singular. Another downside to Mercan English. When referring to the two people in the context of their wedding, treat couple as plural since they are individuals entering into a marriage. As regards few, it seems not to require of with nouns - a few people, a few apples, a few thoughts etc. Authority: The New Fowler's Modern English Usage edited by R.