I am having a problem trying to translate something here.

I would like to explain that two of my friends (who are together, as a couple) are coming around, but I cannot find the right sentence for it.

If I say "a couple of friends" it really means that I am talking about two random friends. If I say "my two friends xx and xx, who are together" or similar, it just sounds really long and not natural.

What is the best way to put it ?

Thank you :)

  • Why do you think "A couple of friends" implies random friends? That isn't how it is usually interpreted. – Chenmunka Nov 18 '15 at 12:29
  • 3
    It's enough for you to say a couple. So it would be like a couple is coming around and that's perfectly understood. – Alejandro Nov 18 '15 at 12:40

Your confusion is right! Here, in such sentences, the word couple serves as a determiner which means 'a small number of' or 'a few'. Probably that's why you call them 'random' friends.

When you specifically talk about two friends with their names (as you wrote 'friend 'x' and friend 'xx' who are together), using the word 'couple' would cause some ambiguity.

Waht's the best way to put it then?

Well, call by their names. "My friends Tom and Harry are coming out of the hall.

In case you are talking about your friends Tom and Anna (in a romantic relationship), it adds complexity! Here, 'couple' does not mean 'a few'. Here, it is for two persons.

The closest sentence for that is probably...

A couple who are my friends are coming out of the hall OR
A couple I'm friends with is coming...

Note that it is entirely different from 'a couple of my friends'. And, I think this is your confusion (correct me if I'm wrong).

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Very useful ! This is exactly where my confusion was, as I tried to talk about two persons in a romantic relationship coming to visit me. I find the last sentence "A couple I'm friends with" to be the most adequate. Thank you so much for your help. – Flo Nov 18 '15 at 13:11

A lot depends on the emphasis you want

"My friend and his wife" or "my friend and her husband" may be possibilities though they imply that one of the couple is a closer friend of yours than the other.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.