TOO & ENOUGH | English Grammar Lesson

Lesson Overview

This lesson focuses on the words ‘too’ and ‘enough’.
They can both be used with adjectives, adverbs and nouns… But there are a few grammar rules you need to remember to use them correctly!

Too and enough indicate a degree (or amount) in English sentences.
too = more than necessary
enough = the necessary amount
not enough = less than necessary

Video Transcript
Section 1
Hello, I’m Emma from English!

  • I’m too hungry to concentrate!
  • You’re good enough to start a conversation in English!
  • I haven’t got enough time.

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use these little, useful words correctly in English sentences.

Too and enough. Both of these words indicate a degree. They give us more information about an adjective or an adverb or a noun.

  • I’m too hungry to concentrate!

So, here ‘too’ means that it is more than what is wanted or what is needed. So, it’s usually a negative thing! You are more hungry than you want to be! This is really frustrating for you because you can’t concentrate!

  • You’re good enough to start a conversation in English!

So here, ‘enough’ tells us that it is the amount that we want or we need. It’s the right amount and this is a positive thing! You have what is needed, you are good enough.

  • You’re not good enough!

Ouch! That is really mean!

Ouch! That is really mean! ‘Not enough’ means that it is  less than the amount that you want or you need. It’s a really negative thing. It’s a pretty mean thing to say.

So, let’s look at the structures for each of these words with adjectives and adverbs first.

too + adjective/adverb

So, ‘too’ comes before an adjective or an adverb.

  • He’s driving too fast.
  • You’re speaking too quickly for me.
  • He’s too old to drive.

Remember that using ‘too’ with an adjective or an adverb usually suggests that it’s a negative thing. It’s more than what is wanted or needed. So, it’s not correct to say that the movie was ‘too good’ when you really enjoyed it! It’s also not correct to say that your friend is ‘too funny’. It sounds really strange to native English speakers because it suggests that it’s more than what you want or what you need it to be. Use ‘really’ or ‘very’ or ‘so’ instead.

  • Your friend is so funny!
  • The movie was really good!

That sounds better!

There are some exceptions to this though, when you’re speaking colloquially – especially in Australia, where I’m from! Like… For example, if someone asked me, “How are you?”
I’d probably say, “Not too bad.”

This is really common in Australia and it means ‘good’ but that’s an exception.

adjective/adverb + enough

Okay, what about ‘enough’? ‘Enough’ comes after the adjective or the adverb.

  • I’m strong enough to lift those boxes.
  • It’s warm enough to go for a swim.
  • He is entertaining enough to perform on stage.
  • You’re here often enough, you might as well live here!

Now, what about when ‘enough’ is used in a negative sentence? ‘Enough’ comes after the adjective or the adverb but ‘not’ comes before.

  • I’m not strong enough to lift those boxes.

And this has the same meaning as ‘I’m too weak’.

  • It’s not warm enough to go for a swim.

…Which means ‘it’s too cold’!

too + much/many + noun

You can also use ‘too’ and ‘enough’ with nouns. Use ‘too’ with ‘much’ or ‘many’ and a noun. So again, this means that we have more of the noun than we want or we need. You would choose ‘many’ if the noun was countable. And you would choose ‘much’ if the noun was uncountable.

  • There are too many people here.
  • Paul has too much furniture in this room!
  • I’ve got too many options, I can’t decide!
  • You can never give too much advice.

Now, if you are not sure about which nouns are countable and which are uncountable, you should check out this lesson right here because I’ll explain it for you there!

enough + noun

So, what about ‘enough’? Well, with a noun ‘enough’ comes before the noun. Again, this means that we have the right amount, the amount that we want and that we need.

  • I have enough time.
  • There are enough seats in the car, you should come!
  • We have enough money, let’s buy it!

And to make these sentences negative we add ‘not’ – usually before the main verb.

  • I have not enough time.
  • She didn’t earn enough money.
  • We haven’t made enough food.
  • There aren’t enough people here.

The ‘be’ verb is a bit of an exception here, to the rule. The structure is a little different. When the ‘be’ verb is the main verb, then ‘not’ comes after the main verb.

So, these handy little words will definitely help you to express yourself more clearly in English and now you know exactly how to use them correctly.

Make sure you practise them. Write some examples if you want, add them in the comments below!

Remember that ‘too’ means that it’s more than the necessary amount.

‘Enough’ is the necessary amount, it’s the exact amount. And ‘not enough’ is less than the necessary amount.

And if you’ve managed to make it through this lesson all the way to the end then you are going to get a special reward because you’re about to find out how you can get mmmEnglish courses for under five dollars!

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Practise using my imitation lessons to improve your pronunciation and your English expression when you’re speaking.

They’re all available at huge discounts, only on Monday. So, don’t miss out!

And now, check out that lesson right there and practise using ‘enough’ and ‘too’ with the adjectives that I teach in that lesson. Or, if you want to try something else check out that playlist right there. Keep practising and I will see you again next week! Bye for now!

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