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  1. Odessa Dawn's Avatar
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    #1

    "He was jobless for couple of months ..."

    "He was jobless for couple of months and then his dreams started to fade gradually."
    Dreams and wishes - Kuwait Times | Kuwait Times
    I have checked the Free Dictionary, but the omission of the indefinite article a has not been found. I just found the following:

    Usage Note:
    The of in the phrase a couple of is often dropped in speech, but this omission is usually considered a mistake, especially in formal contexts. Three-fourths of the Usage Panel finds the sentence I read a couple books over vacation to be unacceptable; however, another 20% of the Panel finds the sentence to be acceptable in informal speech and writing.
    couple - definition of couple by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.


    Also, I read"You Have a Couple of Something, Not a Couple Something," but I didn’t get an answer. What I learned is this:
    Unless making a reference to two people (the couple walked down the street), the word couple needs the word of after it. Why? Because that’s the expression: a couple of. You have a couple of something, not a couple something.
    You Have a Couple of Something, Not a Couple Something ę Everything Language and Grammar

    However, when I consulted Cambridge Dictionaries Online, I noticed that when the last, the next, and the past used the indefinite article couldn't exist in the example sentences.


    The weather's been terrible for the last couple of days.
    Many economists expect unemployment to fall over the next couple of months.
    I'm sorry I didn't phone you, but I've been very busy over the past couple of weeks.
    couple noun (SOME) - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online
    Question: Is the indefinite article a an obligatory if we don't have the next, the last, or the past for example, please?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "He was jobless for couple of months ..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post
    I have checked the Free Dictionary, but the omission of the indefinite article a has not been found. I just found the following:



    Also, I read"You Have a Couple of Something, Not a Couple Something," but I didn’t get an answer. What I learned is this:

    However, when I consulted Cambridge Dictionaries Online, I noticed that when the last, the next, and the past used the indefinite article couldn't exist in the example sentences.




    Question: Is the indefinite article a an obligatory if we don't have the next, the last, or the past for example, please?
    Long question. Short answer -- yes. He was jobless for a couple of months.

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "He was jobless for couple of months ..."

    Not sure I fully understand your questions, but I'll start with the title of the thread "He was jobless for couple of months."

    "Jobless for couple of months" is Indian English dialect. Elsewhere in the English-speaking world the indefinite article is compulsory: jobless for a couple of months.

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