Lesson 9a- TOO / ENOUGH - Part 1

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Common Mistakes in English - Những Lỗi Thường Gặp trong tiếng Anh

Lesson 9a -TOO / ENOUGH - Part 1

This is a lesson in two parts.

Part 1: Understanding Too and Enough.

People sleep in different places, from a sofa to a futon. I usually sleep on a bed. But if my children are sick or have a very bad dream, I sometimes sleep on the floor in their room.

Some may think that the floor is too hard to sleep on. But first of all, we have a carpet. And second, if I had a pillow and a soft blanket-or two, I don’t think the floor is too uncomfortable to sleep on.

What I don’t like is a bad mattress. That’s why recently my husband and I decided to buy a new mattress. Our old one was just too lumpy, and it was sagging when he slept, and it was sagging when I slept. So we decided it was time to buy a new one, a better one.

We went to the store, and we chose a good mattress. I will admit it cost a lot of money. Some people would say that we spent too much, but I don’t think so. My husband and I decided that it was important to get a good night’s rest. So we got the mattress.

Yesterday the delivery truck came and brought our mattress to us. They took the old mattress away, and put the new one in place. The mattress is good,…but there is a problem. It’s a funny one. Let me show you.

Let’s pass for just a moment and see how you understand the situation so far. Can you answer these questions?

a. When does Jennifer sleep on the floor?

I said when my children are sick or when they have a bad dream.

b. Is she comfortable on the floor?

I said yes, because there is a carpet, and I’m comfortable with the pillow and a couple of soft blankets.

c. What did Jennifer and her husband decide to buy? -A mattress.

Could they afford it? -Yes

d. What was wrong with the old one?

The old one was uncomfortable. There were many lumps and it was sagging.

Alright, let’s go on and you will find out what  exactly the problem is now.

So here’s our bed. Looks nice, right?
Look again. It’s too high. The bed is too high. When I first saw this, I thought, “Are my legs long enough to climb onto the bed”.

The mattress is fine. It’s perfect.The mattress is fine. The problem is under the mattress. Under the mattress is a box spring. And the store sent the wrong size. The box spring is too big. It’s too deep. We need one that’s smaller…that’s lower.

The store has promised to send a new box spring to us. So tomorrow afternoon I should have a bed that is a normal height.

 Alright, one simple question: What’s the problem?

a. Jennifer wants the bed to be higher.

b. Jennifer wants the bed to be lower.

The answer: B
I said the bed is too high. In other words, the bed needs to be lower. I want it to be lower.
I could express the same idea by saying “The bed is not low enough.”
So we can use enough and too to express the same idea. What is exactly the difference.

What’s the difference in meaning?
TOO means more than you want, more than you need.
Example: It’s too high. The bed is too high.
We use ENOUGH to mean there is the amount that you want, or the amount that you need.
When I first saw this, I thought, “Are my legs long enough to climb onto the bed?”
It may help to see the differences within like this.
Too means more than you need or more than you want.That’s not good.
Enough means there is the amount that you need or there is the amount that you want.That’s good.
So too is negative, enough is positive.

Those meanings change, however, when you put those words in negative sentences.
Not+ too= a good amount
Not+ enough= not a good amount.
So let’s look at two examples:

- The bed is too high.

=I don’t like it.
It’s a complaint.

- The bed isn’t too high.

=It’s fine.I’m happy.
Now it’s just a comment about a good situation.
+ Here’s another example:

- The bed is low enough.=It’s fine. I’m happy.
A comment, a good comment.
The bed is not low enough
Now it becomes a complaint.
Take a moment, and review the information.

Let’s try an exercise.

Exercise1: Choose the sentence that correctly describes the situation.

1. The boy wants a bigger bed. He says his bed is for a baby.

Which sentence correctly describes that situation?

a. He thinks the bed is big enough.

b. He thinks the bed is too small.

Answer: B

2. The couple told the hotel staff that they needed a wider bed.

  Which sentence describes that situation?

a. The couple said that their bed was too narrow.

b. The couple said that their bed wasn’t too narrow.

Answer: A

3. The girl was not comfortable sleeping on the hard floor.

Which sentence correctly describes that situation?

a. The floor was soft enough.

b. The floor wasn’t soft enough.

Answer: B

This is the end of part 1. Before you go on to part 2, please note that additional practice is available at englishcafé.com where my user name is also JenniferESL. Try to follow a quiz that I created and I will see you back here for part 2.


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