The experimental spin–spin coupling constants (SSCCs) for 1,3- and 1,4-difluorobenzene have been determined anew, and found to be consistent with previously determined values. SSCCs for 1,2-, 1,3-, and 1,4-difluorobenzene have been analyzed by comparing them with the coupling constants computed using the second-order polarization propagator approximation (SOPPA) and the equation-of-motion coupled cluster singles and doubles method (EOM-CCSD). Eighty experimental values have been analyzed using SOPPA calculations, and a subset of 40 values using both SOPPA and EOM-CCSD approaches. One-bond coupling constants 1J(CC) and 1J(CF) are better described by EOM-CCSD, whereas one-bond 1J(CH) values are better described by SOPPA. An empirical equation is presented which allows for the prediction of unknown coupling constants from computed SOPPA values. A similar approach may prove useful for predicting coupling constants in larger systems. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.