There is a couple of books OR There are a couple books ??

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Can I say: there is a couple of books or there are a couple of books? Which one is correct? Thank you! 

asked Apr 16 '13 at 14:29 DMDC New member

1 answer


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'Couple' means two, but 'a couple' may be considered as plural or as a unit, depending on the context. One way to determine whether a singular or plural verb is used is to substitute a pronoun.

When used in the sense of two people, this collective noun takes plural verbs and pronouns: The couple [They] were married Saturday.

In the sense of a single unit, use a singular verb: The winning couple has one week to collect the prize.

 

Books will rarely act as a unit, so you should use a plural verb in this case.

 

There are a couple of books [sitting on the shelf].

link comment answered Apr 16 '13 at 14:54 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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