Ne ... pas assez (de) = Not enough (of)

Look at the different way to express ''not enough'':

Je n'ai pas assez de lait.
I don't have enough milk.

Elle ne court pas assez vite.
She doesn't run fast enough.

Il n'est pas assez grand.
He's not tall enough.



Not + [adjective / adverb] + enough  =  ne ... pas assez + [adjectif / adverbe]

 
Note that "assez" is always placed before the adjective / adverb it applies to (unlike in English).
 
 

Not enough (of) + [noun] =  ne ... pas assez de/d' + [noun]

 
Note also that "de" in front of nouns never becomes du, de la, de l' or des.
It will however become d' in front of a vowel or mute h.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Elle ne court pas assez vite.
She doesn't run fast enough.


Je n'ai pas assez de lait.
I don't have enough milk.


Ils n'ont pas assez d'argent.
They don't have enough money.


Il n'est pas assez grand.
He's not tall enough.


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 7 answers

How do you use « ne.. pas assez de » when talking about a specific thing?

for example,

« I didn’t eat enough of the cake » - meaning a specific cake, rather than general cake. In this case, is it allowed to say

« Je n’ai mangé pas assez du gateau »

?

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Fahad,

Your sentence syntax is incorrect as it should be -

Je n'ai pas assez mangé du gâteau

but I would probably have said -

Je n'ai pas assez mangé de ce gâteau 

How do you use « ne.. pas assez de » when talking about a specific thing?

for example,

« I didn’t eat enough of the cake » - meaning a specific cake, rather than general cake. In this case, is it allowed to say

« Je n’ai mangé pas assez du gateau »

?

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Du or de

Why isn't it "du lait" instead of "de lait"? 
Asked 0 years ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Arndís,

If you mean in the sentence :

Je n'ai pas assez de lait.

it is because of the 'pas' . (always pas ...de )

Hope this helps!

Whenever you relate to a specific quantity, you don't use the article and du/de la/des turns into de. And not having something, i.e., having zero of it, is also a specific quantity. Hence in negations you just use de.

J'ai du lait. -- I have milk. (no specific quantity, hence du)
J'ai un peu de lait.
-- I have a bit of milk. (un peu is a specification of quantity, hence de).
Je n'ai pas de lait. -- I don't have milk. (no milk is also considered a quantity, hence de).

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Thank you, this is very helpful. 

Du or de

Why isn't it "du lait" instead of "de lait"? 

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pronunciation of "pas assez" - should the 's' elide into 'assez'?

Asked 1 year ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Adrienne, First, a quick note about terminology: "elide" means to get rid of (as in je + ai = j'ai, the e is elided). But what you're asking about is liaisons: should there be a liaison between pas and assez? And the answer is that this type of liaison is optional: you can pronounce it for more formal French, or not pronounce it for less formal French. See my lesson on liaisons for more info.
This is the dated computer generated voice text to speech voice from Google Translate, which still remains for a few audios. I'd put it down more to something which would have a liaison in standard French but is dropped in more familiar colloquial settings.
I would expect Google to give standard pronunciation rather than casual, so I expect this may have been a glitch at the time.

pronunciation of "pas assez" - should the 's' elide into 'assez'?

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