Using demasiado, bastante, suficiente, poco, tanto and mucho to express quantity (quantitative adjectives)

Poco (little), mucho (much), demasiado (too much)bastante (enough), suficiente(enough/sufficient) all express a non-defined quantity.

Note that in Spanish these adjectives agree with the noun they refer to.

Let's see how to use them!

Poco, poca, pocos, pocas + [noun] = little / not much / few / not many + [noun]

María come poco pan.
Maria doesn't eat much bread.

En esta casa entra muy poca luz.
In this house there's very little light.

Tengo pocos caramelos.
I have few candies.

Tengo pocas cosas que llevar.
I have few things to carry.

Poco and poca are used with a singular noun to express little/not much (of), while pocos and pocas are used with a plural noun to express few/not many (of).


Here's a recapitulative table:

Quantitative Adjective 

Masculine Feminine

Singular 

poco
little/not much
poca
little/not much

Plural

pocos
few/not many

pocas
few/not many

 

Mucho, mucha, muchos, muchas + [noun] much / a lot of / many + [noun]

Alberto come mucho queso, ¡le encanta!
Alberto eats a lot of cheese, he loves it!

Nosotros tenemos mucha energía.
We have a lot of energy.

Ellos poseen muchos coches.
They own many cars.

Ella visita muchas veces a sus padres.
She visits her parents often [lit: many times].

Mucho and mucha are used with a singular noun to express much/a lot of, while muchos and muchas are used with a plural noun to express many/a lot of.


Here's a recapitulative table:

Quantitative Adjective 

Masculine Feminine

Singular 

mucho
much/a lot of
mucha
much/a lot of

Plural

muchos
many/a lot of

muchas
many/a lot of

 

Demasiado, demasiada, demasiados, demasiadas + [noun] = too much / too many + [noun]

Tenemos demasiado dinero.
We have too much money.

Hay demasiada fruta en la nevera.
There is too much fruit in the fridge.

En Londres hay demasiados días grises.
There are too many grey days in London.

Tengo que esperar demasiadas horas para que me vea un médico.
I have to wait too many hours for a doctor to see me.

Demasiado and demasiada are used with a singular noun to express too much (of), while demasiados and demasiadas are used with a plural noun to express too many (of).


Here's a recapitulative table:

Quantitative Adjective 

Masculine Feminine

Singular 

demasiado
too much (of)
demasiada
too much (of)

Plural

demasiados
too many (of)

demasiadas
too many (of)

 

Tanto, tanta, tantos, tantas + [noun] = so much / so many + [noun]

Tanto dinero no da la felicidad.
So much money doesn't bring happiness.

Tanta luz no es buena para sacar fotos.
So much light is not good for taking photos.

Después de tantos años mantenemos el contacto.
After so many years we keep in touch.

Con tantas explicaciones no entiendo bien el problema.
With so many explanations I don't really understand the problem.

Tanto and tanta are used with a singular noun to express so much (of), while tantos and tantas are used with a plural noun to express so many (of).


Here's a recapitulative table:

Quantitative Adjective 

Masculine Feminine

Singular 

tanto
so much
tanta
so much

Plural

tantos
so many

tantas
so many

 

Bastante, bastantes + [noun] = enough (of) + [noun]

Tenemos bastante pan para cenar.
We have enough bread for dinner.

Hay bastantes clientes en la tienda.
There are enough customers in the shop.

Bastante is used with a singular noun to express enough (of), while bastantes is used with a plural noun to express enough (of).
Bastante / bastantes do not agree in gender: they keep the same form in masculine and feminine!


Here's a recapitulative table:

Quantitative Adjective 

Masculine/
Feminine

Singular 

bastante
enough (of)

Plural

bastantes
enough (of)

 

Suficiente, suficientes + [noun] = enough (of), sufficient + [noun]

Juan tiene suficiente dinero para ir al cine.
Juan has enough money to go to the cinema.

Elisa vio suficientes museos en Londres.
Elisa saw enough museums in London.

Suficiente is used with a singular noun to express enough (of) or sufficient while suficientes is used with a plural noun to express enough (of) or sufficient.
Suficiente / suficientes do not agree in gender: they keep the same form in masculine and feminine!


Here's a recapitulative table:

Quantitative Adjective 

Masculine/
Feminine

Singular 

suficiente
enough (of), sufficient

Plural

suficientes
enough (of), sufficient


See also Using muy versus mucho (intensifiers)

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Tanto dinero no da la felicidad.
So much money doesn't bring happiness.


Tengo pocos caramelos.
I have few candies.


En esta casa entra muy poca luz.
In this house there's very little light.


Hay demasiada fruta en la nevera.
There is too much fruit in the fridge.


Elisa vio suficientes museos en Londres.
Elisa saw enough museums in London.


Hay bastantes clientes en la tienda.
There are enough customers in the shop.


Ella tiene mucha paciencia.
She has a lot of patience.


Tenemos bastante pan para cenar.
We have enough bread for dinner.


Juan tiene suficiente dinero para ir al cine.
Juan has enough money to go to the cinema.


En Londres hay demasiados días grises.
There are too many grey days in London.


Tengo pocas cosas que llevar.
I have few things to carry.


Ella visita muchas veces a sus padres.
She visits her parents often [lit: many times].


Ellos poseen muchos coches.
They own many cars.


Después de tantos años mantenemos el contacto.
After so many years we keep in touch.


María come poco pan.
Maria doesn't eat much bread.


Tengo que esperar demasiadas horas para que me vea un médico.
I have to wait too many hours for a doctor to see me.


Tanta luz no es buena para sacar fotos.
So much light is not good for taking photos.


Nosotros tenemos mucha energía.
We have a lot of energy.


Alberto come mucho queso, ¡le encanta!
Alberto eats a lot of cheese, he loves it!


Con tantas explicaciones no entiendo bien el problema.
With so many explanations I don't really understand the problem.


Tenemos demasiado dinero.
We have too much money.


Q&A Forum 6 questions, 7 answers

In the example “En esta casa entra muy poca luz.” please explain the use of “entra”.

Why is “hay” not used. 

Asked 2 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Johan

In this sentence:

En esta casa entra muy poca luz.

We are using the verb "entrar" (to enter/to get in) because when we talk about light we sometimes use it in order to express how much light there is in a house or how much light "gets in" the house. It is something I believe would sound odd in English but it is used in Spanish. 

You could also use "hay" with pretty much the same meaning:

En esta casa hay muy poca luz.

We can also use it to say that there is a lot of dust in a house:

En esta casa entra mucho polvo.

In this house there is a lot of dust. 

I hope it helps,

Inma

In the example “En esta casa entra muy poca luz.” please explain the use of “entra”.

Why is “hay” not used. 

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Muchos or Muchas

Mi hermano tiene ________ perros. 

My brother has many dogs.

In this quiz I put "muchos" however I got it wrong as it said the correct answer is "muchas". Which word is feminine in this sentence? 

Asked 6 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Marc

We checked and the correct answer in the system is "muchos" (agreeing with "perros"). If you keep experiencing this type of problem, please let us know. 

At the moment everything seems ok in the system.

Saludos

Inma

Muchos or Muchas

Mi hermano tiene ________ perros. 

My brother has many dogs.

In this quiz I put "muchos" however I got it wrong as it said the correct answer is "muchas". Which word is feminine in this sentence? 

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Mi hermano tiene ________ perros. My brother has many dogs.

Asked 6 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Marc,

The correct answer in the system is "muchos" that is agreeing with "perros". I checked and there is no mistake. Let us know if you experience any problem.

Saludos

Inma

Mi hermano tiene ________ perros. My brother has many dogs.

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correction

actually to pocas (if plural- pacientes)

Asked 11 months ago
SilviaKwiziq language super star

¡Hola papi! The word "paciencia" is a noun and therefore the adjective "poca" is well used in terms of agreement. If you have a look at the lesson, it is about how to use these quantifiers AS ADJECTIVES with nouns and not with adjectives.

Thanks for your contribution.

Silvia

correction

actually to pocas (if plural- pacientes)

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noun or adjective?

Sorry, Im a little confussed.

Before I attempt to answer this, isn't patience an adjective (modifying Victor, the noun).  Or is it referring to "few patients (pacientes)- not little patience" as a quantity?  

In otherwords, I believe paciencia is an adjective (quality - not quantity), and I think the poco would be a modifier and not be changed.  It would stay poco. Right?

But if the word was patients (pacientes- quantitiy of patients), then the poco would change to poca, because paciente is a feminine noun.

Asked 11 months ago
I was sent a note that said it has already been answered.  then refered me back to the lesson.  I do not see the answer.  Poco/a/os/as is used with nouns in the lesson, not adjectives. I think that paciencia (adjective-quality) should be changed to pacientes(noun-quantity) in the question. Please be more specific. Thank you.
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Papi

We are sorry we missed this extra question you sent, following your previous question. It didn't show up in the system.

Going back to the sentence, "Víctor tiene poca paciencia." (Victor has little patience.)

Here you need adjective poco/poca/pocos/pocas to agree with the noun, paciencia. 

This sentence would change if we said "Victor has few patients" (as in "not many"). Imagine Victor is a doctor and we are talking about the amount of patients he has.

"Victor tiene pocos pacientes"

Here you still need to make poco agree with the noun: paciente. Paciente is a masculine noun, and we are using the plural so "pocos pacientes".

Hope this extra explanation helps.

Saludos

Inma

noun or adjective?

Sorry, Im a little confussed.

Before I attempt to answer this, isn't patience an adjective (modifying Victor, the noun).  Or is it referring to "few patients (pacientes)- not little patience" as a quantity?  

In otherwords, I believe paciencia is an adjective (quality - not quantity), and I think the poco would be a modifier and not be changed.  It would stay poco. Right?

But if the word was patients (pacientes- quantitiy of patients), then the poco would change to poca, because paciente is a feminine noun.

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Demasiado or tanto

A question in a quiz asked No es bueno beber ___________ alcohol. The answer was tanto but I chose demasiado. don't they both essentially mean the same thing? Or is there a distinction in Spanish? Thanks

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Meghan

Demasiado and tanto are very similar; demasiado means too much and tanto means so much. See all these slightly different sentences:

No es bueno beber mucho alcohol. (Drinking a lot of alcohol is not good.)

No es bueno beber demasiado alcohol. (Drinking too much alcohol is not good.)

No es bueno beber tanto alcohol. (Drinking so much alcohol is not good.)

Saludos 

Inma

Demasiado or tanto

A question in a quiz asked No es bueno beber ___________ alcohol. The answer was tanto but I chose demasiado. don't they both essentially mean the same thing? Or is there a distinction in Spanish? Thanks

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