In spite of having good- enough infrastructure, we can't improve our health service.

Is it OK here to say good- enough infrastructure? If it is wrong, then what should I say if I want to say that the infrastructure is good enough?

  • Try using adequate – Jim Feb 17 '17 at 20:57
  • Yes, I can.but is it ok? – Abdul Kaium Tanvir Feb 17 '17 at 20:59
  • If you use it, you shouldn't hyphenate it. – Barmar Feb 17 '17 at 21:39
  • 3
    English is idiosyncratic. I'd say that 'In spite of having a good enough infrastructure ...' sounds far more natural than 'In spite of having good enough infrastructure ...'. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 17 '17 at 21:43
  • It is not really that idiomatic to use "good enough" in that specific context. "In spite of having an infrastructure that is good enough,.." would be better. – Hot Licks Feb 18 '17 at 2:40

"Good enough" is perfectly fine grammatically, but as @Jim mentioned in the comments, "adequate" might be better. "Adequate" is more formal and less colloquial than "good enough."

The words also have very slightly different meanings. "Good enough" is qualitative; you are saying that the quality of the object is sufficient. "Adequate" can be either qualitative or quantitative, meaning that if you said "adequate infrastructure," it might be interpreted as being more sufficient in size than in quality. "Sufficient" also happens to be a possibility, but it shares the problems of "adequate."

Source: Dictionary.com

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  • I agree, but would go farther. "Good enough" has the connotation of mediocre. It's an idiom. That's why your suggestion of "adequate" is so good. – aparente001 Feb 18 '17 at 5:31

It certainly is ok. OED has its use as a compound adjective, meaning satisfactory or adequate, back to 1600. So, go for it.

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  • 2
    But does it license its use in the attributive position? – Edwin Ashworth Feb 17 '17 at 21:39

Normally, enough follows the adjectives/adverbs which it modifies; when it is used to modify nouns, it comes before them. The sentence in question: "In spite of having good enough infrastructure, we can't improve our health service" can be correct in both ways as using 'enough' before and after 'good'. The correctness or acceptability depends on the user's intention. If 'enough' is used to modify only 'good', it should be placed after it. If the user wants to modify both the adjective and noun ('good infrastructure'), 'enough' should be placed before the adjective 'good'.

From Practical English Usage by Michael Swan:

"Position with adjective + noun:

When 'enough' modifies an adjective and noun together, it comes before the adjective. compare:

We haven't got big enough nails. (= We need bigger nails - 'enough' modifies big)

We haven't got enough big nails. (= We need more big nails - 'enough' modifies 'big nails')"

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