Using 'enough'

Using 'enough'

Do you know how to use the word enough? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how enough is used.

She's not old enough to walk yet.
We are not acting fast enough to stop climate change.
I don't read enough.
Is there enough coffee for everyone?
We've had enough of their lies.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

'enough': Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

enough means 'as much as necessary'. It can be used with an adjective, an adverb, a verb or a noun. It can also act as a pronoun.

With adjectives and adverbs

enough comes after adjectives and adverbs.

I'm not tall enough to reach the top shelf.
Your marks are good enough to study engineering at university.
I couldn't write quickly enough and I ran out of time.
I've helped at conferences often enough to know what can go wrong.

With verbs

enough comes after verbs.

I make sure I drink enough during the day.
I don't read enough but I'm going to start downloading books to my phone. 

With nouns

enough comes before nouns.

There isn't enough bread to make sandwiches.
Have you got enough money?

As a pronoun

enough can also be used without a noun. 

I'll get some more chairs. There aren't enough.
A: Do you want more coffee? B: No, I've had enough, thanks.

We know what the noun is because of the context.

With an adjective and a noun

When enough is used with an adjective and a noun, two positions are possible but the meaning changes.

We haven't got big enough envelopes. 
We haven't got enough big envelopes.

When enough is after the adjective (big enough envelopes), it describes the adjective – the envelopes are too small. When enough is before the adjective (enough big envelopes), it describes the noun phrase – we have some big envelopes, but we need more.

enough of

We normally only use enough of when it is followed by a determiner or a pronoun (a/an/the, this/that, my/your/his, you/them, etc.).

There isn't enough of that bread to make sandwiches for everyone.
I've seen enough of his work to be able to recommend him.
There's enough of us to make a difference.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

'enough': Grammar test 2

Language level

Average: 4.5 (32 votes)

Submitted by yalvar on Tue, 02/05/2023 - 23:15

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The use of "enough to" in the following excerpt from the Cambridge dictionary is not explained in this grammar section:
"In the final straight Meyers stumbled, and although he didn't fall it was enough to lose him first place."

What would make more sense to me is, for example, "it was enough to make him lose first place", but the structure featured above sounds weird to me.

Hi yalvar,

The structure in that example is: lose + [somebody] + [something]. Here are some more examples: My mistakes in the interview lost me the job. The government's failed policy lost them public support. The captain's red card lost his team the championship. It's the final structure listed under meaning 4 here, from the Longman Dictionary.

That isn't the only possible structure after "lose". Your sentence is also grammatical!

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by marikalis on Thu, 30/03/2023 - 16:02

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It was useful enough!
many thanks 😊

Submitted by juliasjoberg on Thu, 30/03/2023 - 08:59

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Tello, this test went very good. It is almost too easy.

Submitted by Willdcat2012pro on Thu, 30/03/2023 - 08:58

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This is tho easy for me 

Submitted by Ali_oalhadhrami on Wed, 22/03/2023 - 07:11

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Thank you very much for your efforts

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Submitted by ahmad alsaleh on Tue, 07/02/2023 - 09:20

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why there is no sheets to download

Hi ahmad alsaleh,

I'm afraid we don't have any worksheets for our Grammar section pages right now. We are just a small team and we are working on other parts of the site at the moment. But we do have worksheets for pages in our Skills, Business English and General English sections, so feel free to have a look at those.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by newguy530 on Mon, 16/01/2023 - 10:01

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I don't really know how phrase enough of works, could someone help me in the details? Thank a lot.

Hello newguy530,

As it says in the explanation above, we use 'enough' before nouns and 'enough' when the noun has a determiner or pronoun before it. So, for example, we say:

  • Is there enough bread? (speaking about bread in general)
  • Is there enough of that bread? (speaking about a specific kind of bread ('that bread'))
  • Is there enough of grandma's special gluten-free bread? (speaking about a specific kind of bread)

In all three examples, 'bread' is the thing being asked about, but in the second and third cases, the words before 'bread' make it more specific.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team