To vs. too: which one is correct? And what about two? We break things down in this informative guide.
- To is typically a preposition or infinitive verb.
- Too is always an adverb.
- To shows a relationship between words or elements.
- Too indicates agreement or an excessive or higher-than-expected amount.
- Two is always a number.
Grammar gurus love criticizing folks who don’t know the difference between too and to. If you’re tired of people ripping apart your texts or social media posts, this is the guide for you.
The Meaning of To vs. Too
To shows the relationship between two words. When it precedes a verb, it helps form an infinitive verb. Too means also. In other cases, we use it to refer to excessive amounts, such as too much.
too definition: (adverb) also; excessive; a higher degree than expected or permitted
To can be a preposition or an infinitive verb, while too is always an adverb. Sometimes to also acts as an adverb, but this is rare. One example of to as an adverb is:
It’s implied that you are referencing a state of consciousness in the previous sentence.
How do you use the Word Too?
The word too indicates agreement or conveys that you have an excessive amount of something. However, writers often confuse it with to, which is usually a preposition or infinitive.
You aren’t alone if you can’t figure out when to use too. Should you say:
- to many or too many?
- I love you to or I love you too?
- to funny or too funny?
Too is the correct choice for all three questions, but let’s explore why. If your kids have too many toys, then they have an excessive amount. If something is too funny, it means it’s excessively funny.
Much like too has an excessive number of ‘Os,’ too is used to describe an excessive amount of something. You can use the same trick when using too to indicate agreement. It takes at least two people to agree on something, so you’ll need two ‘Os’ to express that.
Things get a bit trickier with the sentence “I love you too.” Use too, not to, if someone says “I love you” first. Go with to if the word is part of a longer sentence where to acts as a preposition or infinitive verb. For example, you might say, “I love you to the moon and back.”
How do you Remember To and Too?
You can remember to and too by using the ‘o’ trick. Too refers to an excessive amount of something, so it gets one more ‘o’ than to. Too also means that you agree with someone, such as when you say, “I think so too.” Because you both agree, the word too gets two o’s instead of one. Think of it as two people standing side by side, confident in their shared beliefs.
Too can also mean “in addition,” which is why it gets an extra ‘o.’ You might say, “I like pizza, but I like burgers too.”
Too is another word for really, very, or also. When debating whether to write to or too, try replacing it with one of those three words.
To is a preposition or infinitive verb that joins words or clauses together. That’s a lot of work for one word, but to only needs one ‘o.’
Think of to as an energetic parent who chases after their toddlers at the park, so they can keep their family together. Picture the extra ‘o’ in too as a diaper bag or bulky backpack. It’s harder for mom or dad to run with a heavy bag, so they leave it in the car. That’s why to only needs one ‘o’.
When Should you use Two?
Two is always a number. You can never use two in place of too or to.
The grammar fight regarding to vs. too often gets people frustrated online. Avoid the drama by remembering the ‘o’ trick and applying the other handy info from this guide.