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.

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.

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

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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