Which Is Right, Couple or Couples? The English language can be challenging at times because certain words and phrases may be so closely connected that we run the risk of misusing them or using the wrong syntax. Long lists of words are frequently perplexing and can lead to grammatical mistakes if they are not used correctly in a sentence.
Couple is a collective noun. It takes a singular form and refers to two people.
So, one couple comprises two people and two couples comprise four people.
In a sentence, the subject-verb agreement follows the singularity or plurality of the word couple itself—not the people who compose it.
So, there are two ways of expressing your example sentence:
- Both couples work at the same bank.
- Each couple works at the same bank.
Which Is Correct, Couple or Couples?
Couple is a collective noun. In American English, collective nouns tend to be treated as singular.* Couple is an exception; it is more frequently treated as plural.
They are both correct when used in the right context. For example …
“Couple” is singular and refers to a pair of people or things. “Couples” is plural and refers to multiple pairs of people or things.
So, whether to use “couple” or “couples” depends on the number of pairs you are referring to. If you are referring to one pair, use “couple.” If you are referring to more than one pair, use “couples.”
For example, “I saw a couple holding hands in the park” refers to one pair of people, while “I saw several couples holding hands in the park” refers to multiple pairs of people.
“My next door neighbours are very quiet. They are an old married couple.” i.e singular as in one married couple.
“Since my divorce, I don’t go to dinner parties anymore. The other guests are always married couples.” ie plural as in more than one married couple.
Was this page helpful?
Michael Barry is an Engineer. He is the brain behind TheInfoPeak.com blog and Cruise Media YouTube Channel. He has helped many individuals to start their businesses and make money online. How can he help you?