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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?

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Too much is better translated as demasiado –  belisarius Dec 15 '11 at 22:26
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3 Answers

up vote 3 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)

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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:

bastante.

  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.

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  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).

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