too and enough

Too and Enough

Too and Enough

Too and enough are used to talk about the quantity or size of something.

too and enoughLook at the sentences below. What is the difference in meaning?

  • The dress is big enough.
  • The dress is not big enough.
  • The dress is too big.

 

Meaning of too and enough

We use ‘enough’ to show that size or quantity of something is suitable for the purpose.

  • The dress is big enough (the dress is the correct size to fit the person).

We use ‘not….. enough’ to show that quantity or size of something is not sufficient.

  • The dress is not big enough (the dress needs to be bigger to fit the person).

We use ‘too’ to show that there is a problem with the quantity or size of something.

  • The dress is too big (in this example, the dress needs to be smaller to fit the person).

 

 

Rules for using too and enough with adjectives

In our example sentences, we have used ‘too’ and ‘enough’ with the adjective big. Did you notice that we change the place of these words in the sentence?

  • Enough – ‘enough’ goes after the adjective – big enough
  • Not….. enough – ‘not’ goes before the adjective, ‘enough’ goes after the adjective – not big enough
  • Too – ‘too’ goes before the adjective – too big

 

Rules for using too and enough with nouns

 

Enough – ‘enough’ goes before countable and uncountable nouns.

  • There is enough food for the people at the party.
  • There are enough sandwiches for the people at the party.

Not….. enough – ‘not enough’ goes before countable and uncountable nouns.

  • There is not enough food for the people at the party.
  • There aren’t enough sandwiches for the people at the party.

Too much / too little – ‘too much / too little’ goes before uncountable nouns.

  • There is too much food for the people at the party.
  • There is too little food for the people at the party.

Too many / too few – ‘too many’ goes before countable nouns.

  • There are too many sandwiches for the people at the party.
  • There are too few sandwiches for the people at the party.

 

 

 

Rules for using too and enough with adverbs

Enough – ‘enough’ goes after the adverb.

  • My teacher speaks slowly enough for me to understand him.

Not….. enough – ‘not’ goes before the verb and adverb, ‘enough’ goes after the adverb.

  • My teacher doesn’t speak slowly enough for me to understand him.

Too – goes before the adverb.

  • My teacher speaks too quickly for me to understand him.

Rules for using too and enough with verbs

Enough – ‘enough’ goes after the verb.

  • I have studied enough today. Let’s go and watch a movie at the cinema!

Not….. enough – ‘not’ goes before the verb, ‘enough’ goes after the verb.

  • I haven’t studied enough today. I’m sorry I can’t go to the cinema.

Too much – goes after the verb.

  • I have studied too much today. I really need a break. Let’s go and watch a movie at the cinema!

Note: We don’t commonly use ‘too little’ with verbs, though it is possible.

Now practice!

Read the sentences below. Are too and enough used correctly?

1. He drives too fast! I’m worried he’ll have an accident one day.

Show answerThis is correct.

2. There are not enough milk. Could you get some when you go to the shops please?

Show answerThis is incorrect. It should be: “There is not enough milk.”

3. Our house is big enough for our family, so we’re going to sell it and look for one with more space.

Show answerThis is incorrect. It should be: “Our house isn’t big enough for our family”

4. I’ve too much eaten!

Show answerThis is incorrect. It should be: “I’ve eaten too much.”

5. I don’t have enough time to finish my assignment! I’m getting really worried now.

Show answerThis is correct.

6. I think there are too much children in my son’s class at school.

Show answerThis is incorrect. It should be: “I think there are too many children in my son’s class at school.”

7. My boss doesn’t give instructions enough clearly. I often don’t understand what I am supposed to do.

Show answerThis is incorrect. It should be: “My boss doesn’t give instructions clearly enough.”

8. In my opinion, too little people donate money to charity.

Show answerThis is incorrect. It should be: “In my opinion, too few people donate money to charity.”
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