Rob Lane

By Rob Lane

The words enough and plenty are often misused, particularly at Intermediate level. They are very common words and learners should take care to use them correctly. Both words can be used to express quantity. Enough means a sufficient amount whereas plenty means enough and potentially more.

Do we have enough time?

Don’t worry, my friend. We have plenty of time.


Enough can be used as an adjective, an adverb, a pronoun, and an interjection. Use enough before a noun but after an adjective.

Ulrich had enough food. He didn’t want anymore.

In this sentence, enough is used as an adjective. It describes the amount of food an sufficient or ample. This means that he didn’t need anymore. When we use enough as an adjective, put it before the noun.

Casandra ran for the bus but she wasn’t fast enough.

In this second sentence, enough is used as an adverb. In this case, it modifies the adjective. It means the same as sufficiently.

Stop! That is enough.

In this example, enough is used a pronoun.

Enough! Stop this immediately.

In this fourth example, it is used as an interjection.


Plenty is usually used as a noun.

We have plenty of time. We need not rush.

It can also be used as a pronoun.

More food? No, thank you. I have plenty.


Plenty is also used as an adverb although this is considered informal and not international English.

We were plenty happy with the result.

I don’t recommend that you use this.

You should

Write example sentences like those given above. Remember that the most typical error with enough is the position. So, when you have finished your examples, check that you have them in the correct order. Ask your tutor to check that you have used them correctly.