3

Sometimes the word "enough" comes before a noun as in "I've got enough money to waste" and sometimes it comes after as in "I've got money enough to waste". Was "[noun] enough" more common in a particular place or time or with a certain group of people? Why is that the less common form?

Searching for "[n*] enough" on the Corpus of Contemporary American English shows that it appears in all types of writings: fiction, newspapers, movie scripts, etc. "Reason enough", "time enough", and "sense enough" seem to the the most common phrases.

  • 3
    Once again, enough is a quantifier, and quantifiers often float; for instance each in Each boy denied it and The boys each denied it. Enough can appear either before or after nouns it quantifies, but there are -- as usual for quantifiers -- lots of idioms, special syntactic conditions, and exceptions. – John Lawler Jun 21 '13 at 19:25
1

Because it is more common, in most cases, to place quantitiative adjectives before nouns, the juxtaposition of [noun] enough provides a bit of style and emphasis.

He was a character larger than life

has marginally more impact than

He was a larger than life character

  • 1
    Your second sentence is a well known idiom, while the first is not. People will tend to say and write the second because it "sounds" right. – Mari-Lou A Jun 22 '13 at 16:15
  • Your example doesn't really relate to the original question, since, as Mari-Lou pointed out, the second sentence doesn't sound right. – HannahRose Jun 24 '13 at 23:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.