sufficient and adequate ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by elyssia, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. elyssia Senior Member

    could you explain the difference of the two words for me ?
    An/A ______supply of food is one of the human needs that must be considered .
    A sufficient B adequate
    They both mean " enough " , how to distinguish ?Please ...!
  2. Bil

    Bil Banned

    English USA
    Hi Elyssia

    Yikes! The words are nearly synonymous.

    Even though it carries an alternate definition of "barely sufficient," I'd opt for B. adequate, because as defined in its strictest sense, it means "equal to a requirement." I consider a "need" to be a requirement.

    A. sufficient, on the other hand, is defined as "adequate for the purpose." Is a "need" a purpose?

    Again, I wonder how others will respond.
  3. Pinkbeads Member

    English UK
    Yikes indeed!

    I think I would say adequate in this case, but it is difficult to differentiate between the two words. I think that they are probably interchangeable here.

    Sorry not to be more help!
  4. elyssia Senior Member

    Ok ,thanks !
  5. mygothangel New Member

    Hi, I looked up both words at and the definitions provided aren't identical (?)
    However, I was always under impression that "sufficient" means "enough", but slightly *less* than "adequate". Was I wrong?
  6. Bil

    Bil Banned

    English USA
    Hi mygothangel

    You were very close to being right, but you had the two words a little bit mixed up. It is the word "adequate" that has that alternate second definition. Sometimes, using irony, we say that something is "adequate" when what we are really implying is that it is "barely sufficient," or "just okay."
  7. elyssia Senior Member

    Hi . I see ! To say " adequate " means just enough , to say sufficient is to say there is quite enough means a great amount ! . Am I right ?
  8. mygothangel New Member

    I'm sorry, but I'm not really convinced.
    sufficient of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement but without being abundant

    adequate about average; acceptable
    or I still don't understand the meaning??
  9. mrandrewlally New Member

    In contract law in common-law countries:
    Consideration must be sufficient but need not be adequate. The consideration must have some value.
    The court is not concerned with the adequacy of the consideration. In the absence of duress or undue influence the court will uphold a contract even where it appears that the consideration, objectively viewed, is not adequate.
    Insite Law Magazine online provided the last 3 sentences.

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