Sufficient, Enough, Adequate, or Competent?

All four of these words carry the meaning of being what is necessary or desired, but there are a few subtle differences among them.

Sufficient suggests a close meeting of a need, whereas enough implies a little more leeway, i.e., more than the bare minimum.

Examples:
Although five extra people showed up, there were sufficient workbooks to go around.
“I’ve had enough to eat,” he said after his third helping, and he loosened his belt a notch.

Adequate means barely meeting a minimum requirement, whereas competent means measuring up to all requirements with room to spare.

Example:
John’s singing is adequate, but his wife Mary is a competent soprano.

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Funny Typo of the Day:
Hors devours instead of hors d’oeuvres (pronounced horse doovers by uncouth Texans)
Spell Checker recommends the darnedest things when encountering a foreign word!

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