I'd like to know the grammatical function of 'enough' in this sentence.

There was rice enough for all four of them all right.

  • Have you checked any dictionary?
    – Cardinal
    Nov 30, 2017 at 17:04
  • 2
    Can you explain why you think this is different from any other use of "enough"? Is it just the order of the words that seems odd, "rice enough" instead of "enough rice"?
    – Andrew
    Nov 30, 2017 at 17:29
  • I'm not sure it is an adjective or an adverb or a determiner.
    – thein lwin
    Nov 30, 2017 at 17:43
  • Almost all the dictionaries say that it's an adverb.
    – Cardinal
    Nov 30, 2017 at 17:49

3 Answers 3


The word "enough" in the sentence presented is an adjective; it's old-fashioned to place this adjective after a noun; it's common to place it before a noun in modern English. Look at the following example from Dictionary.com/The Free Dictionary which say it's an adjective:

....noise enough to wake the dead.

  • How can it be an adjective? It doesn't ascribe some property to the noun it modifies. It's a kind of quantifier (a sufficiency determinative to be precise)
    – BillJ
    Nov 30, 2017 at 19:25

I think we're dealing with an adverb of degree here. It tells you to what degree there was enough rice. And since this is an adverb of degree, you can ask the following question: to what degree was there enough rice? Answer: To the degree that there was such an amount of rice that it was enough for all four of them.

  • What is it in a noun-phrase? rice enough for them or enough rice for them? Enough rice for them will cost a pretty penny.
    – TimR
    Nov 30, 2017 at 18:57
  • It sounds like in the phrase enough rice, it is functioning as a determiner. In the phrase rice enough, it feels like it's an adverb. Nov 30, 2017 at 19:29
  • Since when do adverbs modify nouns! Think about it.
    – BillJ
    Nov 30, 2017 at 19:47
  • Right. I was thinking of that phrase in the context of there was rice enough for. So, it really seems that enough there modifies the verb was. Nov 30, 2017 at 19:56

There was rice enough for all four of them all right

"Enough" belongs to the category (part of speech) determinative (subtype sufficiency determinative) and its function here is that of post-head modifier.

It can also function as a determiner in examples like "I haven't got enough money."

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