Enough vs. Plenty

Since it is a common question. Let us go through it.

What Are Their Differences?

We use 'plenty' and 'enough' a lot in English. So, it is important to know their meanings and functions. Mainly 'enough' means as much as wanted, while 'plenty' means enough or more than enough.
These two words are a little bit different in their grammatical functions.


What Enough and Plenty Mean

  • 'Enough':

means as much as it is necessary or as much as it is needed. When something is considered as enough it means we do not need any more of it.

We have enough food for all of us.

I think we struggled enough over this problem.

  • 'Plenty':

means enough or more than enough. So, it can refer to a larger amount compared with 'enough'.

We've got plenty of time let's think then act.

Students have plenty of opportunities in this school.

Grammatical Functions

  • 'Enough':

comes after another adverb or an adjective, or even after verbs as an adverb. As a pronoun, it is used without a noun directly after it. 'Enough' as a determiner comes before a noun whether plural countable or uncountable.

The runner was fast enough to win the race. → adverb

Enough is given to the court. Judges can decide easily. → pronoun

Here in this example 'enough' is used as a pronoun and it is obvious that we mean 'enough evidence'.

She has enough bottles to run the party. → determiner

  • 'Plenty':

As an adverb is used before an adjective. As a pronoun it means more than enough or enough. As you know, pronouns cannot be followed by a noun directly. However it might be rare for you, 'plenty' can be used as an uncountable noun, too.

"Here, drink some chocolate milk." "It is plenty; I am on a diet." → pronoun

They lived on a land of plenty back then. → noun

My uncle was plenty angry with my cousin. → adverb

Plenty of and Enough of

'Plenty' can be followed by [of + noun]. The point is that 'enough' can be added to [of + determiner + noun]. Remember you can use enough as a determiner before nouns with no determiners or before pronouns.

Don’t go to the groceries we have plenty of jam.

They have plenty of houses, they are really rich.

She has taken up enough of his time.

Let's go home. I have seen enough of them.


  1. 'Enough' and 'plenty':

As it was mentioned earlier, they are really close to each other based on their meanings. Actually, in some cases, they can mean exactly the same.

This a plenty huge progress for you.

This progress is huge enough for you.

  • 'Enough' and 'plenty':

both can be pronouns and adverbs. Remember, the rules of using them can be different, ut their word classes as pronouns and adverbs are the same. Do not forget that 'enough' can be a determiner and 'plenty' can be a noun, too.

Plenty of their plans rely on the company's profit. → pronoun

I have had enough of this pointless conversation. → pronoun

She has made enough excuses for her mistake. → determiner

In the time of plenty many wasted the sources. → noun

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