I'm preparing some marketing materials for my boss, and one section contains the phrase "Here are a few examples:". The list that follows contains two items, which strikes me as being incorrect, though I can't find much evidence of this.

Is it semantically correct to refer to two items as "a few"? Is there a solid rule for this, or is it just personal preference?

Edit - As Armen correctly pointed out, this question is about semantics rather than grammar. I changed my phrasing to reflect this.

  • It is certainly grammatically correct. Your question is about semantics. Nov 5, 2013 at 11:44
  • My personal preference is for "a few" to be at least three. I don't always use it this way, though, because I use "a few" for small indeterminate numbers, and I don't always know at speech time whether that number will turn out to be three or greater.
    – user28567
    Nov 5, 2013 at 11:47
  • Here are two examples:?
    – Hugh
    Nov 5, 2013 at 12:25
  • 1
    "A few" is exactly four. Always. If you use it for anything else, you are wrong. If you take it to mean something else, you are wrong.
    – RegDwigнt
    Nov 5, 2013 at 13:03
  • 1
    "A couple" is two; "a few" is three, four, or five; and "several" is six or seven.
    – Ben Miller
    Nov 5, 2013 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


For two I mostly use some Like snailboat said, a few sounds like 3 or more. It is not grammatically incorrect though. It's simply what one thinks sounds better.

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