Hi!  I'm interested in the ordering of a noun, an adjective, and the adverb enough as shown in the following pair:

(1) a. "He is a soldier brave enough to attempt it."

     b. "He is a brave enough soldier to attempt it."


I found (1a) and (1b) in a dictionary and they seem to be treated as synonymous (or at least syntactically possible options).  I would like to know the difference between them if any in terms of meaning, context in which they tend to appear, etc.   


(2) a. I don't have a jacket big enough.

     b. "I don't have a big enough jacket."


I found (2b) in another dictionary and (2a) is what I made up based on (2b), supposing (1a) and (1b) are grammatically okay.  Here, I have the same type of question as (1) above.  I would like to know the difference between (2a) and (2b) if any in terms of meaning, context in which they tend to appear, etc.   


I would very much appreciate your help!



Original Post


These are very good questions.  Your logic was spot on in creating (2a).  All four of your examples are grammatically correct, and your (a)s are essentially synonymous to your (b)s.

Usually, adverbs that modify adjectives occur before the adjective they modify.  "Enough", when used in this sense, tends to be a rare exception.

Also, adjectives usually precede the nouns they modify, as with your (b) examples.  In the (a)s, I would say that the postpositioned adjective phrase is a reduction of an adjectival clause to the effect of "that is ... enough":

1a': He is a soldier that is brave enough to attempt it.

2a': I don't have a jacket that is big enough.

The reduction (the elimination of the words "that is" that identify the phrase as a clause) is very frequently used, and, as far as I know, universally accepted.

I hope you find this helpful.


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