English grammar - too and enough

- - Too and enough


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

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


  1. We use too 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. We use enough 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. We use enough 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. 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 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 job.
  3. 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?

Ideas for teaching too and enough

How do you teach too and enough? Add your idea ยป

Give the rules of both in a very simple way and give importance to exercises, example sentences. I start with too. Students convert the sentences fromtoo to enough.
"She is too young to go to a disco by herself." _______________ (enough)
"She isn't old enough to go to a disco by herself."

Find pictures, for example 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..."

I usually show the students a picture of a fat woman and ask them if she can win a race and why. I then elicit sentences like:
"She is too fat to win a race or she is not fast enough..."
Another picture shows a man trying to change a bulb, but can't because he's short. Of course, visual aids are very important for this activity. I also show them picture of poor people and help students make sentences such as:
"They are too poor to buy a car / they're not rich enough..." etc.

When I teach the difference between too and enough, I take a cup and fill it with water until it overflows: students cry out: 'It's too much!' I then take another cup and will ask students to tell me when I fill the cup until I have enough: They tell me: 'Enough!' Then I ask the students to give me more examples of too and enough. It works with young children (who need visuals) as well as with students around 18!

I usually ask a student to stand up and try to reach the ceiling. After the others see that it not possible, I ask why he cant do it. If they don't give the answer I want, I say that the student isn't tall enough and then that he is too short to do it.

I usually tell ss that an average size man needs to buy clothes and he goes to a clothing store where he finds several items like big shoes, a small shirt or an expensive suit, then he leaves the store feeling sad becasue he is not satisfied. I show pictures with the real size of the man and the items. Students notice the items are not right for him and i elict "too" and "not... enough" with the nouns
Carlos Jauregui

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