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Expressing "enough" with "gou"

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Affirmative Form

In Chinese the word for "enough" comes before a verb more often than after an adjective.

Structure

够 + Verb / Adj. + 了

Sometimes you'll see an optional 了 added after the verb for emphasis (as in "no, really, it's enough!").

Examples

  • 我们 买 了 很 多 菜 ,Wǒmen mǎi le hěn duō cài, gòu chī le.We bought a lot of food. It's enough for us to eat.
  • 这些 纸 用 吗 ?Zhèxiē zhǐ gòu yòng ma?Are these papers good enough to use?
  • 放心 吧 ,我 带 的 钱 花 。Fàngxīn ba, wǒ dài de qián gòu huā.Don't worry. I've brought enough money to spend.

When it comes before an adjective, 了 is needed at the end of the sentence.

  • 我 对 你 Wǒ duì nǐ gòu hǎo le.I've been good enough to you.
  • 别 抱怨 了 ,你 幸运 Bié bàoyuàn le, nǐ gòu xìngyùn le.Stop complaining. You've been lucky enough.

Negative Form

Structure

Subj. + 不 + 够 + Adj. / Verb

Note that 了 can't be used when it's negated.

Examples

  • 他 觉得 他 女朋友 不够 漂亮 。Tā juéde tā nǚpéngyou bù gòu piàoliang.He thinks his girlfriend is not pretty enough.
  • 你 说 得 不够 清楚 。Nǐ shuō de bù gòu qīngchǔ.You didn't speak very clearly.
  • 这些 菜 不够 吃 ,再 点 几 个 菜 。Zhèxiē cài bù gòu chī, zài diǎn jǐ gè cài.These dishes are not enough to eat. Let's order some more.
  • 这里 太 小 了 ,不够 坐 。Zhèlǐ tài xiǎo le, bùgòu zuò.It's too small here. It's not big enough to sit.
  • 你 的 包 太 小 了,这些 东西 肯定不够 放 。Nǐ de bāo tài xiǎo le, zhème duō dōngxi kěndìng bùgòu fàng.Your bag is too small. This stuff definitely can't fit in it.

Colloquial Saying

Literally 够了 means "it's enough." the speaker is "getting sick of [doing] something" or "done with [doing] something." 这些动词比较有限。常用的是:吃、喝、玩、看、听等感官类的。

A few common examples:

  • 够 了shòu gòu le!I've had enough of it!
  • 天天 吃 外卖 ,我们 都 够了 Tiāntiān chī wàimài, wǒmen dōu chī gòu le.We eat take-out every day. We're sick of eating it.
  • 够了 没有 ?wán gòu le méiyǒu?Are you done playing?

See also

Sources and further reading

Books