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I've just come across lo bastante/suficientemente + adjetivo + como para hacer algo as in:

¿Es lo bastante inteligente como para trabajar en Google?

Is it possible and correct to say just:

¿Es bastante inteligente para trabajar en Google?

I've been using the second variant pretty much the whole time, maybe incorrectly.

  • 1
    Your variant is understandable but not beautiful; however, I could imagine a native Spanish speaker whose Spanish has been somewhat contaminated by living in an English speaking country expressing himself this way. – aparente001 Jul 31 '17 at 3:18
  • For the record, a Brazilian or Portuguese would express himself in the same way because the Portuguese equivalent sentence has no "como". – Alan Evangelista Dec 16 '19 at 19:40
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Your question asks for several alternative forms. From the start I'd say that the versions with suficientemente are all correct, whether they use lo and/or como:

  • ¿Es lo suficientemente inteligente como para trabajar en Google?
  • ¿Es suficientemente inteligente como para trabajar en Google?
  • ¿Es lo suficientemente inteligente para trabajar en Google?
  • ¿Es suficientemente inteligente para trabajar en Google?

In the case of bastante followed by an adjective, on the contrary, not using como sounds incorrect to me, but I haven't been able to find a proper source. (Note that bastante, when it functions as an adjective, does not need como.) The same goes for using lo. So I would say:

¿Es lo bastante inteligente como para trabajar en Google?

With bastante there's a small problem: bastante sometimes connotes an opposition in the same way as muy/mucho or demasiado, because its meaning can vary from just enough to quite a lot.

Es bastante mayor como para ir sola al colegio.
"She's old enough to go to school by herself."

Es bastante mayor como para tener que llevarla al colegio.
"She's rather old for (someone) having to take her to school."

This doesn't happen if you use lo, since lo bastante always means "the amount which is enough" (the positive connotation of bastante); it cannot be used to mean "rather, a bit too much, enough and more".

Using bastante + adjective, without lo, in a question, sounds distinctively off to me, but again, I don't have a source for that, just my experience (as a native speaker among other native speakers).

| improve this answer | |
  • What does the article "lo" in "Es lo bastante inteligente como para trabajar en Google?" refer to? In general, the article "lo" refers to some abstract entity and is translated to English as "what is" or "the thing", eg "Lo raro es que..." (= What is strange is that... / The strange thing is that...), but I'm unable to see that meaning here. – Alan Evangelista Dec 16 '19 at 20:04
  • I don't know. I suspect it might be analyzed as lo bastante = "(the thing) which is enough" (since the verb bastar lit. means "to be enough", and bastante is originally its active participle). – pablodf76 Dec 16 '19 at 22:23

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