English grammar – Too & enough

Form

too + adjective/adverb
too much/many + noun
too much/many + of + pronoun/determiner

adjective/adverb + enough
enough + noun
enough + of + pronoun/determiner

Meaning

  1. Too is used to mean more than sufficient or more/less than necessary.
    • It’s too late to stop him.
    • Jerry was too young to watch the movie.
    • There are too many people on this train, there’s nowhere to sit.
    • You have too much money, give some to me.
    • You’ve eaten too many of those cakes.
  2. Enough is used to mean sufficient
    • Your clothes are big enough to fit me.
    • You’ve done enough work. You can stop now.
    • Have you got enough money to buy me a drink?
  3. Enough is used in negative sentences to mean less than sufficient or less than necessary.
    • You’re not working fast enough, you won’t finish on time.
    • Sorry, I haven’t got enough food for everyone.
    • Not enough of my friends are coming to the party.

Additional points

  1. Enough can be used without a noun if the meaning is clear.
    • There’s a lot of food but not enough for everyone.
  2. Enough can be replaced 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 job.
  3. Time or room can be used 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?

Related grammar points

Comparatives

4 teaching ideas and comments

  1. Thiby

    I usually ask a student to stand up and try to reach the ceiling. After the others see that it is not possible, I ask “why can’t he do it?” If they don’t give me the correct structure, I tell them that “he/she isn’t tall enough” and that “he/she is too short”…

  2. Monica

    Find pictures, for example of a small girl standing next to a bicycle (adult) and say:

    “What’s the problem? Why can’t she ride the bike?”

    The students should come up with: “It’s too big or she’s too small”

  3. Mariam

    I think the best way to teach this lesson is by using visual aids and pictures. For example, you could show 3 cups of water. One with a little water at the bottom, one full of water and one with water overflowing… students should reach the meaning on their own.

  4. sidiki

    ok i get this, how can we use too and enough in interrogative sentence

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