How to use ‘too’ and ‘enough’ in English How do we use “too” and “enough”? What’s the difference between these two common words? Where do we put them in a sentence? Learn the answers to all of these questions in this useful lesson. This English grammar lesson also covers where to place adjectives with “too” and “enough,” and the correct verb form to follow each. You can take a quiz on this lesson, too:


Hi, guys. I’m Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on “enough” and “too” with infinitives. So today, we’re going to look at a common grammatical pattern that we can use with “too” and “enough” and how to follow those with infinitives. And remember, an infinitive is “to” plus the base form of a verb, so “to play”, “to swim”, “to hang”, “to chat”, whatever it is.

Now let’s look at, first, a common “too” pattern when we talk in English. So again, we use “too” when we want to talk about an extreme. So here we can use: Too + adjective/adverb + infinitive. Now if you’re tired of looking at formulas, and you’re better with just seeing examples, examples, examples, well, guess what? I have many examples for you today. First one is: “It’s too hot to go outside”, okay? So here you see the pattern: It is too + an adjective — to go outside. So again, we don’t say, “It’s too hot going outside.” You have to follow it with an infinitive: “It’s too hot to go outside.” “It’s too hot to swim.” “It’s too hot to stand out in the backyard for more than 20 minutes”, okay? Another example, “She’s too young.” “She’s too young to do what? She’s too young to drink.” ” She’s too young to smoke.” ” She’s too young to drive.” Okay? “It’s too early.” “It’s too early to wake up.” So Saturday morning it’s, let’s say, 6:30 a.m. Your alarm clock goes off at 6:30 on a Saturday. Unless you work, that’s way too early to wake up for most people. If you enjoy it, hey, that’s your life.

Next, “He tried too much to impress his boss.” Okay? All right, guys, so again, this is the most common pattern with “too” when you want to talk about — and you want to use infinitives. So again, “It’s too hot to go outside.” “She’s too young to drink.” “It’s too early to wake up.” “He tried too much to impress his boss.” So again, we don’t say, “It’s to go, too hot, outside.” You know, we don’t mix it up like that. The pattern is: Too + adjective/adverb + infinitive.

Now, let’s look at “enough”. Okay, so with “enough”, we have a different structure. Now again, “enough” means “sufficient”, something that is “sufficient enough”. So whereas we had, “too + adjective/adverb + infinitive”, here we have the adjective/adverb + enough + infinitive. So for example, “He is smart enough to pass.” “She was fast enough to win.” “He yelled loudly enough to wake up our neighbours!” So again, you see the pattern with “too” and “enough” is different in that, again, normally with “too”, we have “too” before the adjective. With “enough” we actually put “enough” after the adjective or the adverb in this situation. Okay? So are you guys getting it so far? Yeah?

All right. Let’s look at one more little rule with “enough”. Okay, let’s look at another pattern with “enough”. Whereas in the first pattern we had, “adjective/adverb + enough”, in this one we have, “enough + noun + infinitive”. So let’s look at these examples. I think most people are familiar and comfortable with this pattern. Maybe you don’t know that we should add an infinitive after it, though. So: “We don’t have enough gas to make it to Vancouver.” So again, “We don’t have enough”: You have “enough”; you have the noun; and then you have the infinitive, “to make”. “To make it to Vancouver”, means to arrive — right? — to Vancouver. “We have enough money to go on vacation.” So, “We have enough money to go” — the infinitive “to go” — on vacation.” “Money” is the noun in this situation.

Okay, so this is the more informal, everyday, common structure. If you want to sound proper in English, you can also use the formal structure here. For this I’m going to do up my button, okay? Because I have to be very formal for this. So: “We have money enough to go on vacation.” So in the formal structure you can actually put the noun before “enough” and then follow that with the infinitive. If you speak like this, I don’t know, maybe you’ll make some friends. Maybe people will look at you weird. I recommend speaking like this because this is more common, but just be aware if you watch British television, British films, anything with formal English in it, you might hear this pattern as well.

Okay, guys. If you’d like to check your understanding of how to use “too”, how to use “enough” with infinitive patterns, you can check out the quiz on Take care, and good luck.

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