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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

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!


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


Tenemos demasiado dinero.
We have too much money.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


Q&A

Meghan

Kwiziq community member

19 May 2018

1 reply

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

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

19 May 2018

19/05/18

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

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