Grammar 5 min read

How to use To vs. Too Properly

To vs. too: which one is correct? And what about two? We break things down in this informative guide.

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Main Takeaways:

  • 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.

to definition: (preposition) a word that governs a noun or pronoun and conveys a relationship between another word or element in a clause

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:

He came to after the surgery.

It’s implied that you are referencing a state of consciousness in the previous sentence.

to vs. too: To can be a preposition/ infinitive verb. Too is always an adverb.
Remember, ‘to’ can be a preposition or an infinitive verb, while ‘too’ is always an adverb.

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.

(Agreement) I believe his story, too.
(Excessive amount) The ice on the roads makes it too difficult to drive.

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.

It’s really hot.
It’s very hot.
I’m hot too.
It’s too hot.
It’s to hot.

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’.

Sherry went to the mall.
Taylor likes to visit his grandma during summer break.
Tiffany is planning a trip to Florida next year.
I knew my husband was the one on our first date because he gave his extra taco to me.
Remember, to and too are never interchangeable. You also can’t use two instead of to or too.

When Should you use Two?

Two is always a number. You can never use two in place of too or to.

I bought two pizzas.
I want to buy pizzas.
I like pizza too.
I ate two much pizza.

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.

Read More: Whoever vs. Whomever: How to use Them Properly in a Sentence

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