Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have seen bastante translated as enough, plenty, or even too much. What range of meanings does bastante have? How can you determine whether it means just enough or too much?

share|improve this question
Too much is better translated as demasiado – Dr. belisarius Dec 15 '11 at 22:26
Bastante comes from the verb bastar (to be enough, suffice). Spanish at times tends to be exaggeration-prone: that is why at times bastante y demasiado are sometimes used interchangeably. – Rafael May 17 at 13:53
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think the spectrum is comparable with English:

  • insuficiente - not enough / insufficient
  • suficiente - enough / sufficient
  • bastante - plenty
  • demasiado - too much

I usually hear 'bastante' used when implying more than 'enough'; although it's not exactly the same as 'plenty', it's pretty close in a lot of cases:

Comí suficiente. "I ate enough" (ie, but no more)

Comí bastante. "I ate plenty" (ie, as much as I could possibly want)

Comí demasiado. "I ate too much" (ie, now I feel sick)

share|improve this answer
  1. Enough (or just enough)

    "Ya he tenido bastante!" (I've had enough of this!). Maybe this is the meaning you confuse with "too much".

  2. Quite

    "Mi perro es bastante viejo" (My dog is quite old).

share|improve this answer
Agreed. I've never seen bastante used to mean too much. – Kevin K. Dec 15 '11 at 23:30

According to the RAE, bastante means "enough" or "quite a bit", like c4sh says in their answer. I've never seen it translated as too much:


  1. adj. Que basta.
  2. adv. c. Ni mucho ni poco, ni más ni menos de lo regular, ordinario o preciso; sin sobra ni falta.
  3. adv. c. No poco. Es bastante rico Bastante bella

And these are all the meanings listed.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.