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Too / Enough

Stating minimum and maximum requirements

The expressions "too" and "enough" are used to state opinions about what we think
is meets minimum and maximum requirements.

Too vs. Enough



Too means inadequate (not sufficient, below Enough means adequate; within what is
what is desirable) or excessive (above what is desirable

Jill is too young to get her driver's Jill is old enough to get her driver's
license. (She cannot get it.) license. (She can get it.)
This work is too hard to do. (I cannot do it.) This work is easy enough to do. (I can do it.)
This orange is too bitter to eat. (I cannot eat it.) This orange is sweet enough to eat. (I can eat

Adequate means the same


Not too means adequate; within what is Not too = enough


Jill is not too young to get her driver's Jill is old enough to get her driver's license
license. (She is within an allowable range.) .(She is within an allowable range.)
This work isn't too hard to do. (It is within a do- This work is easy enough to do. (It is within a
able range.) do-able range.)
This orange isn't too bitter to eat. (It is within a This orange is sweet enough to eat. (It is within
desirable range.) a desirable range.)

Inadequate or Excessive means almost the same


Use too before an adjective for an Use enough before an adjective for an
unacceptable, excessive amount. unacceptable, inadequate amount.

Jill is too young to get her driver's Jill isn't old enough to get her driver's
license. (She is under-age.) license. (She is under-age.)
Jill's grandfather is too old to keep his driver's Jill's grandfather isn't [young] competent
license. (His age is excessive: his abilities are enough to keep his driver's license. (His
inadequate.) abilities are inadequate.)
This work is too hard to do. (It is excessively This work isn't easy enough to do. (The level
hard.) of ease is inadequate.)
This orange is too bitter to eat. (It is This orange isn't sweet enough to eat. (It is
excessively bitter.) inadequately sweet.)
Common Mistakes

Your wife is too beautiful. Your wife is very beautiful.
("too" alone means excessive; too beautiful = (BUT: This clothing is too beautiful to wear
unnatural) while working.)
Your baby is beautiful enough. Your baby is very beautiful.
("enough" alone means barely acceptable; Your baby is beautiful enough to be in a
tolerable) commercial. (It requires explanation.)

Too Much & Much Too Adding Emphasis

Too Many vs. Too Much


Use too many before a count noun for an Use too much before a non-count noun for an
unacceptable, excessive amount. unacceptable, excessive amount.

People eat too many chips, cookies and candy People eat too much fat, sugar and salt. (to stay
bars. (to stay healthy) healthy)
Vending machines sell too many high- Prepared food uses too
calorie snacks. much packaging. (plastic, boxes, padding)

Too and enough Form

Too + adjective or adverb Adjective or adverb + Enough
Too much/many + noun Enough + noun
Functions and examples
1. We use 'too' to mean more than sufficient or more than necessary. Jerry was too young to watch
the movie. It's too late to stop him. You have too much money, give some to me.
There are too many people on this train, there's nowhere to sit.
2. We use 'enough' to mean sufficient and in a negative sentence to mean less than
sufficient or less than necessary. Your clothes are big enough to fit me.
You're not working fast enough, you won't finish on time.
Have you got enough money to buy me a drink? Sorry, I haven't got enough food for everyone.
Important points
1. We can use 'enough' without a noun if the meaning is clear.
There's a lot of food but not enough for everyone.
2. We use 'enough of' or 'too much/many of' before pronouns and determiners.
Not enough of my friends are coming to the party. You've eaten too many of those cakes.
3. We can replace 'enough' with 'the' before a noun.
I don't have the money to go on holiday. His company doesn't have the resources to do the
4. We can use 'time' or 'room' alone to mean 'enough time' or 'enough room'.
Is there room in your car for one more person? Do we have time for a coffee?
Using Too and Not Something Enough

When we are unhappy about something we can complain about it. Complain is the verb and
complaint is the noun. The collocation is make a complaint or have a complaint.
Using too For todays lesson take a look at the picture above. Whats wrong with the bed?
Im sure the man has a complaint to make. He can say: The bed is too small.
Too is used to make the following adjective negative. In this case, small takes on a negative
meaning. We often follow up our complaint a reason using to after the adjective: The bed is
too small for him to sleep on.
Using not adjective enough There is also another way that we can complain using a
different form. Again, lets use the picture above:
The bed is not big enough. = NOT + ADJECTIVE + ENOUGH
This sentence has the same meaning as the bed is too small. All we have to do is use the
opposite adjective : big small . Lets look at some other examples:
My coffee is too cold (to drink) becomes my coffee is not hot enough .
The test was too difficult becomes the test was not easy enough.
The water is too cool becomes The water is not warm enough.
using very It is important to remember that very does not have a fixed negative
meaning. Very is used to give strength to the adjective that follows it. Very is neutral; it can
be used to make positive sentences: Im very happy with the news.
The food was very good.
Now complete the sentences using too, very, enough or not
Its cold to go swimming in winter.
Your parents are nice.
Waiter. My soup is hot enough.
I am not old to drive. The park is far to walk to.
He moved into a nice apartment in the city. I wish I could afford to live there.
Can I try on another size? This one is big enough.
Too and Enough are used with adjectives and indicate degree. Too means more than

necessary and it precedes the adjective. Enough means sufficient and usually follows the


He is too old to ride the Merry-Go-Round.

She has too much money.

Tony was tall enough to play on the basketball team. (NOT: enough tall)

They were smart enough to pass the test. (NOT: enough smart)

Enough can also be used with nouns. In such cases, enough usually precedes the word it


I have enough money for the CD player.

I don't have enough (money) for the computer.

There aren't enough people to make a team.

In some cases, enough can stand alone.

I have had enough of this nonsense.

Enough is enough!

Common problems include using very in place of too or enough.

(Wrong) (Correct)
She is very young to drink alcohol.
(Wrong) (Correct)
She is too young to drink alcohol.
(Wrong) (Correct)
He is not very tough to play football.
(Wrong) (Correct)
He is not tough enough to play football.