Enough vs. Too

This is an interesting grammar in the English language. They are easy to understand with little notice.

What Are Their Main Differences?

'Too' and 'enough' are misused a lot by English learners. It is because they are close by their definition. In general, 'too' means more than it is needed, while 'enough' means as much as* needed.


Grammatical functions

  • 'Too':
  1. Adverb

'Too' as an adverb can be used before other adjectives or adverbs to intensify them. It can also be used as an adverb at the end of a statement to agree on it and tell that a previously mentioned statement is also true about someone or something.

These shoes are too expensive that I cannot afford buying them. → adverb of degree

They are having their first child, too. → adverb

  • 'Enough':
  1. Determiner
  2. Pronoun
  3. Adverb

'Enough' as a determiner is used before nouns to define them. As you know, as a pronoun, it can not be directly followed by a noun. As an adverb, it is used
directly after an adjective, adverb, or verb.

Drinking enough water per day is needed for your body health. → determiner

Enough would be vaccinated as soon as possible. → pronoun

She ran fast enough to get to the bus. → adverb

We tried enough to save him, but we couldn't. → adverb


  • 'Too':

refers to an amount that is more than enough. But this meaning only refers to 'too' as an adverb of degree. It can also be used when its meaning is 'also'. To agree that something is true for somebody or something else as well.

They felt the earthquake, too.

We have had too many problems that we couldn't even count them.

  • 'Enough':

refers to an amount that is necessary. As a determiner, 'enough' can be used with any kind of nouns whether countable or uncountable.

Having enough knowledge is required to be qualified for this job.

They did the project well enough to get the best student of the year's cup.

Where to Place Them

  • 'Too':

is placed before the adjectives or adverbs. In some cases, it can be used at the end of a sentence to agree on the statement.

This is too well-priced for a college student. → adverb of degree

Nice to meet you, too. → adverb

  • 'Enough':

is placed after the adjectives, adverbs, or verbs. To tell that something is done as much as essential or needed. Enough can also be placed before nouns as a determiner (plural countable or uncountable). It can also be used without any nouns as the pronoun of the sentence it is mostly used at the first of the sentence in this use.

The class was big enough for all of us. → adverb

There are enough flowers for the wedding. → determiner

I quit; I have had enough. → adverb

Enough are attended in the conference. → pronoun

Enough in That-Clauses

Remember, not to use a that-clause after the term enough. Especially in American English grammar. As much as it sounds logical in a sentence to hear a that-clause after enough, it is not technically correct.

The oranges are small enough to put them on the cake. (Not " The oranges are small enough that we put them on the cake.)

'Enough of' and 'Too of'

  1. 'Too of' and 'enough of':

There is no such thing as 'too of' in English. But 'enough of' is used before noun phrases started with determiners or even before pronouns. If it is used with an uncountable noun use a singular verb and if it is used with plural countable nouns or pronouns the verb is in plural form. Check out the examples to be more clarified.

Enough of us left the campus.

I put enough of the salt on the steak.

Enough of my students passed the test.

Enough and Too in Negative Sentences

  1. 'Too':

'Too' can be used in negative sentences with negative verbs. And in this case, It means exactly the same.

This is not too terrible, we can fix it easily.

  • 'Enough':

We can not use [enough] or [enough + noun] as the subject of a negative sentence with negative verbs. Remember, in other positions, for example as the adverb of a negative sentence using 'enough' is correct and makes no trouble.

Enough people were in the club. ( Not "Enough people were not in the club.")

Enough tasted the sauce for the commercial. (Not "Enough didn't taste the sauce for the commercial.)

Using Enough as the Subject of a Negative Sentence

As it is said before, we cannot use enough in negative sentences as the subject. So, instead, we use 'not enough' as a negative marker and then use an affirmative verb. Remember, the whole sentence implies a negative meaning.

Not enough people tasted the sauce for the advertisement.

Using Modifying Adverbs

  • ٍ'Enough' and 'too':

We can use some adverbs, for example, nearly, almost, just, hardly, and quite before the term enough to modify it. Remember that these modifying adverbs are not used before 'too'.

I have hardly enough time to finish this school project.

They are quite expensive or they are too expensive. (Not "They are quite too expensive.")

Too Much and Too many

  • 'Too many':

is used before plural countable nouns to refer to a large number of people or things that are more than needed or expected.

Too many animals are killed because of the greedy hunters.

I have seen too many people who are rich and generous at the same time

  • 'Too much':

'Too much' is used before uncountable nouns to refer to a large amount that is more than needed or essential.

I've spent too much money this month.

They put too much honey in the cake, I cannot even have it.


What Are They?

'Too' and 'enough' are used as adverbs of degree. They are both used to refer to a degree or level. However, 'enough' can be used as a quantifier. And this is the only similarity considered for them.

These animals are too smart.

He spoke enough to convince everyone.

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