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. Jun 21, 2013 at 19:25

1 Answer 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, 2013 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, 2013 at 23:40

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