Enough Tips on Teaching “Too” and “Enough”

Every grammar book series has at least one chapter on “too” and “enough”. What practices and activities do you like to use in addition to what is provided in the textbook? Here are some ideas for the next time you must cover this topic:

  • Presentation: To introduce the topic, model a few problems and ask students to identify each one. See if any of them can already use “too” or “enough”. If they do, repeat their comments to emphasize the grammar in context. If they don’t, reword their comments to contextualize “too” and “enough”. For example, write today’s date on the board in very small letters and ask if everyone can read the date. “Oh, you can’t? Why not? …Yes, I agree. It’s too small. The letters aren’t big enough to read.” Other problems to model: You can’t drink your coffee because it’s too hot. You tell the class about something you did over the weekend in a voice that’s too soft for them to hear. After you’ve modeled a few situations, lead into a presentation on the board explaining the structures used with “too” and “enough”.
  • Comprehension Check: You can use popular song lyrics to be sure students understand the meaning of the grammar in context. After listening to a song and then reading the lyrics, students can be asked to explain what the artist is singing about. If you work with the song Too Much, you can highlight the conversational phrase “much too much” and the structure too + much (of what). A viewing of the music video for JoJo’s Too Little Too Late would allow pairs or small groups to retell the story.
  • Practice: Put students in the role of experts. In groups of 3 or 4, let them select their area of expertise. Offer suggestions on the board, such as having a picnic, throwing a party, taking a weekend trip, giving a presentation. Each group must identify 3-5 potential problems and provide tips for avoiding those problems. They must use “too” and “enough” at least once in each problem-tip combination. For example: Taking a Weekend Trip.  = Don’t plan too much. You only have two days. Give yourself enough time to enjoy everything. Maybe you want to visit New York and see a lot, but five places is too many for one day. Two is enough.

Note: A video lesson on this topic is available on YouTube.

25 Comments Add yours

  1. John says:

    I really appreciated the way you presented the lesson.

    1. englishwithjennifer says:

      Glad to hear this! Thank you for giving some feedback.

  2. It’s very hard to balance the learning you give kids.

    1. Hello. Do you work with young learners? Please feel free to talk about the challenge you face in your classroom.

  3. Michelle says:

    you do have a beautiful voice

  4. aisha says:

    This is great.
    please tell me a teacher’s book that has a lesaon on Too/Enough (Compartives) Thank you. I have been searching all day :-(.

    1. Azar and Hagen cover TOO and ENOUGH in their three-book series.

  5. aisha says:

    Thank you very much

  6. aisha says:

    Is it best to focus on just adjectives, nouns, verbs, infinitives or just adverbs or all when teaching ‘too’ & ‘enough’ to an elementary class? And would you normaly pre-teach lexis? Many thanks
    Trainee Esl teacher

    1. I think it’s most common to teach TOO + adjective/ adjective + ENOUGH. The concept is easy to illustrate. You can make sure students can form affirmative and negative sentences before moving on to TOO and ENOUGH with adverbs. Work with known vocabulary or present the grammar in a context that nicely combines the structures with level-appropriate vocabulary. You can focus on vocabulary first and then study the grammar. Good luck!

  7. Dee Bee says:

    very good stuff! Which level is this topic suitable for?

    1. Intermediate. You can simplify the lesson or challenge students as needed.
      Thanks for reading this post!

  8. Rasha says:

    thaaaaaanks my dear. u really helped me in presenting this rule

  9. Harry says:

    Thank you so much God bless you

    1. Thank you, Harry, for the kind wishes.

  10. Erasmo Maldonado says:

    Thank you Jennifer, excellent ideas!

    1. Thank you for checking out my post.

  11. Arun Goyal says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed your video on parallel structures in grammar.. Jennifer In top form!
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Arun. Thank you for watching that more advanced grammar topic. 🙂

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