How to Use Too and Enough

Correct Placement of Enough and Too Much or Too Many

Man carrying full shopping basket in grocery store
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Too and enough can modify both nouns, adjectives and adverbs. Too indicates that there is too much of a quality, or too much or too many of some object. Enough means that there is no need for more of a quality or object. Here are some examples:

  • She's too sad these days. I wonder what's wrong.
  • I don't have enough sugar. Let's go to the supermarket.
  • You're driving too slowly!
  • There are too many students in this class. It should be smaller.
  • This test is difficult enough already!
  • We have too much pollution in the world.

Focus on Enough

Reading the examples you may notice that enough is sometimes placed before the word it modifies. For example:

  • What do we need for dinner? I think we have enough vegetables, don't we?
  • She feels that Tom has more than enough time to help.

In the other examples, enough is placed after the word in modifies. For example:

  • You should ask John for help he's rich enough to help us all!
  • I don't think they are smart enough to take that class.

Take a look at the words modified in the examples above. You will note that 'enough' is placed in front of the nouns 'vegetables' and 'time'. Enough is placed after the adjectives 'rich' and 'smart'.

Rules for Enough

Adjective + Enough

Place enough directly after the adjective modified when using enough as an adverb to mean to the required degree or extent.

  • He's not patient enough to understand children.
  • My friend wasn't intelligent enough to take the job.

Adverb + Enough

Place enough directly after the adverb modified when using enough as an adverb to mean to the required degree or extent.

  • Peter drove slowly enough for us to look at all the houses.
  • The students studied carefully enough to do well on the exam.

    Enough + Noun

    Place enough directly before a noun to state that there is as much or as many as required.

    • Do you have enough money for your vacation?
    • I'm afraid we don't have enough oranges to make the dessert.

    Focus on Too

    Reading the examples you can notice that 'too' is used with nouns, adjectives and adverbs. However, when using too with nouns, too is followed by 'much' or 'many'. The choice of too much or too many depends on whether the noun modified is countable or uncountable, also referred to as count and non-count nouns.

    • Anna is too concerned about her grades.
    • The boys are too crazy today!
    • We have too many books in this room.
    • There is too much information to learn these days.

    Rules for Too

    Too + Adjective

    Place too before adjectives to state that something has an excess amount of a quality.

    • He's too angry about that incident.
    • Mary is too anxious about her cousin.

    Too + Adverb

    Place too before adverbs to state that someone is doing something to an excess or more than necessary.

    • That man is driving too slowly. I wonder if he's been drinking.
    • You are speaking too rudely to that man. It's important to be kind!

    Too Much + Uncountable Noun

    Place too much before uncountable nouns to state that there is an excess amount of an object.

    • We have too much time on our hands this weekend.
    • You've put too much sugar in the cake.

    Too Many + Countable Noun

    Place too many before plurals of countable nouns to state that there is an excess number of an object.

    • Franca has too many problems to deal with this week.
    • The boys have bought too many clothes. Let's take some of them back to the store.

    Too / Enough Quiz

    Rewrite the sentence adding too or enough to the sentence to modify an adjective, adverb or noun.

    1. My friend isn't patient with his friends.
    2. I don't have time to get everything done.
    3. I think the test was difficult.
    4. There is much salt in this soup!
    5. You are walking slowly. We need to hurry up. 
    6. I'm afraid I have many responsibilities.
    7. Peter isn't working fast. We'll never finish on time!
    8. I wish I were intelligent to pass this test. 
    9. Is there wine for dinner?
    1. He types quickly, so he makes a lot of mistakes.

    Answers

    1. My friend isn't patient enough with his friends.
    2. I don't have enough time to get everything done.
    3. I think the test was too difficult.
    4. There is too much salt in this soup!
    5. You are walking too slowly. We need to hurry up. 
    6. I'm afraid I have too many responsibilities.
    7. Peter isn't working fast enough. We'll never finish on time!
    8. I wish I were intelligent enough to pass this test. 
    9. Is there enough wine for dinner?
    10. He types too quickly, so he makes a lot of mistakes.

     

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    Your Citation
    Beare, Kenneth. "How to Use Too and Enough." ThoughtCo, Jun. 30, 2017, thoughtco.com/how-to-use-too-and-enough-1210275. Beare, Kenneth. (2017, June 30). How to Use Too and Enough. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-use-too-and-enough-1210275 Beare, Kenneth. "How to Use Too and Enough." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-use-too-and-enough-1210275 (accessed May 24, 2018).