Too vs. Enough, Too ill to need a doctor vs. Ill enough to need a doctor


Too + adj…infinitive = We use too as an intensifier that expresses that something is deficient and less than what is desirable or extra or more than what is desirable. This expression is supplemented by an infinitive (nonfinite infinitive clause):


Mrs. Joseph is too ill to need a doctor.  (The chances of her getting well are very slim.)

Mr. Wilson is too old to stand in that queue for an hour. (He cannot stand in the queue.)

My cellphone battery is too weak to last two hours. (It cannot last two hours.)

Jill is too short to touch the ceiling. (She cannot touch the ceiling.)

The thesis is too large to write in a few months.This maths problem is too difficult to solve.

Freddie’s throat is too bad this morning to enter for the singing competition.


Adjective + enough + infinitive clause = Enough expresses that something is enough and sufficient, within the limits of desirability.  This expression is also supplemented by an infinitive (nonfinite infinitive clause). The infinitive may be followed by a subject introduced by for (for sb) to do.


Mrs. Joseph is ill enough to need a doctor.  (It is high time that she needed a doctor.)

Mr. Wilson is old enough to stand in the queue of senior citizens. (He has surpassed the age limit of senior citizens.)

My cellphone battery is strong enough to last two hours. (It can last for two hours.)

Jill is tall enough to touch the ceiling. (She can touch the ceiling.)

This parking lot is just about large enough for one hundred cars to accommodate.

The lintel of the building has to be strong enough to withstand the weight of that tower.


We also use for, if there is a need to mention the people or things that are referred to in the sentence.

The bag is too small (for him) to get all his groceries in.

We can also use too + adjective + a/an + noun which is rather formal.
I hope I am not going to have too antagonistic a class on my first day.

Richard is too gentle a person to oppose in the election.


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