Expressing "enough" with "gou"
够 + Verb / Adj. + 了
The 了 is not strictly required, but it adds a sense of emphasis.
In these examples, 够 (gòu) comes before verbs. You'll notice that who is doing the verb to what is normally just understood in context.
- 我们 买 了 很 多 菜 ，够 吃 了 。We bought a lot of food. It's enough for us to eat.
- 这些 纸 够 用 吗 ？Is this paper enough for us to use?
- 放心 吧 ，我 带 的 钱 够 花 。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 够 好 了 。I've been good enough to you.
- 别 抱怨 了 ，你 够 幸运 了 。Stop complaining. You've been lucky enough.
In the negative form, you're not going to need a 了 (le).
Subj. + 不 + 够 + Adj. / Verb
Note that 了 can't be used when it's negated.
- 他 觉得 他 女朋友 不 够 漂亮 。He thinks his girlfriend is not pretty enough.
- 你 说 得 不 够 清楚 。You didn't speak clearly enough.
- 这些 菜 不 够 吃 ，再 点 几 个 菜 。This food is not enough for us to eat. Let's order a few more dishes.
- 这里 太 小 了 ，不 够 坐 。It's too cramped here. There's not enough room to sit.
- 你 的 包 太 小 了，这些 东西 肯定 不 够 放 。Your bag is too small. There's definitely not enough room to hold this stuff.
Translations feel looser here, as the Chinese frequently omits the details about what's not enough for what. The verb and the context makes it clear enough.
Literally, 够了 means "it's enough." When the speaker is getting sick of doing something or feeling fed up, 够了 can be applied after a limited number of verbs.
A few common examples:
- 我 受 够 了 ！I've had enough of it!
- 天天 吃 外卖 ，我们 都 吃 够 了 。We eat take-out every day. We're sick of eating it.
- 你 玩 够 了 没有 ？Are you done playing?
Sources and further reading