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I'm sure I'm on the right track of understanding how the adverb "plenty" works with other words but from example such as "She had plenty more work to do" I'm assuming we can use "plenty" with pretty much anything to 'emphasize the degree of something'. Thus arises the question, "In which case is it natural to use 'plenty' and in which not?"

  • There's plenty much information about it on the net.
  • The job was done plenty easy/easily today.
  • It took you plenty long to get here.

What do you think friends?

  • Uses of "plenty" as an adverb is something I find to be not just dialectical, but definitely outside of my dialect ("standard" American English). I understand "plenty much" as unidiomatic and "plenty long" as idiomatic, but neither one is a usage I would ever use. – Canadian Yankee Jan 24 '18 at 16:23
  • plenty more information, not plenty much information. – J.R. Jan 24 '18 at 23:24
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Looking at the entry for plenty in the Oxford Dictionary, it does say that plenty can be used as an adverb, but most of the example sentences they provide sound like the sort of things that a scriptwriter would give to a Mexican character to make them sound foreign.

This NGram shows that plenty fast is not very widely used, and it is more common in American writing than in British writing. Many of the instances are in fictional native american dialogue

"That is good," answered Night Bear. "Where did you learn the tongue?" "Me learn tongue plenty fast by pony fort," the man said. Seven arrows

... or period writing where the characters are poorly educated non-indigenous people.

"In fact, he's plenty fast enough to have killed Johnny and all the others in a fair fight.” Wrath of the Mountain Man

There are also several pieces of technical writing in a demotic style, aimed at consumers: reviews of computers, SLR cameras etc.

Fast Ethernet networks are plenty fast for a home network. But in case you're an extreme user, or building a high-speed office network, there is the next step up in speed, called Gigabit Ethernet. Gigabit Ethernet moves at a scorching 1000Mbps. Speed: unerstanding and installing home networks

The Oxford Guide to English Grammar contains several references to the use of plenty as a quantifier, but none whatsoever to the adverb form.

We have plenty of money.
I have eaten plenty, thank you.

Given the lack of adequate explanation of the rules and reliable examples for using the adverbal form, I would recommend avoiding this form completely, apart from with more. As a native British English speaker, I would never consider using the sentences that you have suggested. This is what I would say:

There's plenty of information about it on the net.
The job was done very easy/easily today.
It took you long enough to get here.

The first sentence can use the pronoun form (plenty of...): for the other two, plenty doesn't really work at all.

  • Thanks JavaLatte but I was hoping a decent explanation concerning "plenty" as an adverb. Not that I disrespect or not love your wonderful answers and explanations, but this isn't exactly what I wanted to hear unless you think my English is that bad that I cannot find a different approach, or solution to saying what I want to say, or paraphrase it in order not to include "plenty" as an adverb. :-) – SovereignSun Jan 24 '18 at 11:05
  • To me, all of the "plenty"+adjective examples (plenty much, plenty easy, plenty long) sound like Tonto, the American Indian sidekick of the Lone Ranger. I think that "plenty of"+plural noun or "plenty of"+uncountable noun sound like living English (plenty of times, plenty of people, plenty of water, plenty of room) and as a noun "plenty" has a sort of nostalgic quality ("We came here expecting great plenty.") – Chaim Jan 24 '18 at 14:14
  • (As I re-read, I suppose that the examples I called "living English" also sound slightly informal.) – Chaim Jan 24 '18 at 14:14
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    @SovereignSun: I am sorry that my answer doesn't meet with your approval. As I made clear in my answer, I adapted your sentences to show how to use plenty where possible, and to provide alternatives where it definitely won't work.The fact remains that your suggestions don't sound natural to me as a Brfitish English speaker and there is a dearth of reliable reference material. In the absence of such material, I am not willing to simply make something up. Maybe such sentences are more widely used in the US, and not just by Tonto. I hope that somebody else can shed some light on this for you. – JavaLatte Jan 24 '18 at 15:42
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    I don't have any problem with, "It took you plenty long to get here," but even that one sounds "plenty colloquial." (I don't picture Tonto, but there are a few country friends in Nebraska that come to mind.) I'd not be very likely to use it myself. – J.R. Jan 24 '18 at 23:30
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Plenty is used as an adverb in American English, but not arbitrarily so, and usually not merely to add emphasis. I would honestly never think to use it in the examples you have suggested.

A search on "plenty" followed by another adverb in the Corpus of Contemporary American English returns these frequency results at the top:

  CONTEXT FREQ       
  1. PLENTY MORE 294
  2. PLENTY BIG 28
  3. PLENTY FAST 28
  4. PLENTY GOOD 27
  5. PLENTY ENOUGH 21
  6. PLENTY ELSE 20
  7. PLENTY LONG 19
  8. PLENTY THERE 11
  9. PLENTY HERE 11
  10. PLENTY HARD 8
  11. PLENTY HIGH 7
  12. PLENTY LOUD 7
  13. PLENTY NOW 7
  14. PLENTY DEEP 7
  15. PLENTY ELSEWHERE 6
  16. PLENTY OUT 6
  17. PLENTY IN 6
  18. PLENTY RIGHT 6
  19. PLENTY QUICK 5
  20. PLENTY BAD 5
  21. PLENTY ALREADY 5

With adjectives, the top results are

  1. PLENTY TOUGH 30
  2. PLENTY BIG 19
  3. PLENTY WARM 19
  4. PLENTY STRONG 17
  5. PLENTY GOOD 15
  6. PLENTY HOT 14
  7. PLENTY BUSY 13
  8. PLENTY BRIGHT 13
  9. PLENTY ACCURATE 11
  10. PLENTY SMART 11
  11. PLENTY DURABLE 9
  12. PLENTY OLD 9
  13. PLENTY STURDY 7
  14. PLENTY LARGE 6
  15. PLENTY MAD 6
  16. PLENTY HAPPY 5
  17. PLENTY CAPABLE 5
  18. PLENTY OTHER 5
  19. PLENTY RICH 5
  20. PLENTY ROOMY 5

As you can see, plenty more is the most common formulation by a full order of magnitude. It is found in common expressions like plenty more where that came from and there's plenty more ahead (or other expressions of something forthcoming or anticipated), so not only will you encounter it more often, but it is more likely to be accepted than others.

There are instances of plenty long in a variety of sources, whereas plenty easy occurs only once, in spoken dialog in fiction, and plenty much does not appear at all. This maps to my own instinct; I can't think of any native speakers of American English I know who would say There's plenty much information about it on the net. To say there is an abundance of information,

There's plenty of information about it on the net

would be fine in speech, and

There is much information about it on the net

would be fine in writing, and to add emphasis I would likely use different constructions entirely, like there's a whole lot of information or there is a great deal of information.

In cases like most of the appearances of plenty long, plenty is not an intensifer. Rather it communicates that something is adequately or satisfactorily long, though not as explicitly as saying long enough. Indeed, the AHD one-word definition of adverbial plenty is

Sufficiently.

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    Well, if so is the way things go looks like JavaLatte is perfectly right and thus her answer deserves a +1, yours too. – SovereignSun Jan 24 '18 at 17:48

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