To vs Too Grammar
To and Too are words easily confused and sometimes it is tricky to spot the difference. The explanation of how they are different, though is actually quite simple.
You can also watch a video of this lesson:
So lets take a look at to vs too. Below you'll learn some of the main uses of to, then we'll look at how too is used. There is also a quiz at the end to practice what you have learned.
To is a preposition. There are many different ways in which it may be used in this way, so these are just some examples.
- I wanted to help him (infinitive)
- We went to Spain last year (showing direction)
- I lent my bike to my cousin (receiving)
- It's one week to Easter (until a time or state is reached)
- I fell to pieces when he died (extreme state)
- The school is planning to close on Monday (future)
- She's an advisor to the Prime Minister (serving someone)
- He always stands to my left (position)
- There are 0.8 dollars to the pound (for each)
Too is an adverb. There are two ways in which it is used as an adverb.
The first is to how something is excessive. Or in other words, more than is needed or wanted, or more than is suitable or enough.
When used in this way it appears before an adjective.
- I'm not comfortable as it is too hot today
- I didn't buy the book as it was too expensive
- He arrived too late, so they wouldn't let him in
- The test is too hard. I'm sure I'll fail
Another meaning is also or in addition. When it is used in this way, it usually comes at the end of the sentence.
- I hope that Jane comes too
- He put on a coat and a jacket too
- The government reduced income tax. They should reduce VAT too
Top Tip for To vs Too
When considering to vs too, the best way to decide is to focus the meaning of too as this is much simpler than to with fewer meanings.
Think about whether what you are saying is about something being excessive or in addition to something. If it is then it is too. If not, it will be to.
You should also be aware of a common ESL error when using too. Learners of English often use it to mean very in a positive way. So for example:
- He is too (very) nice to me
This will confuse people as it will be interpreted to mean that you don't like that person being nice to you!
So be careful. It is only used to speak in a negative way about something.
Practice what you have learned in the to vs too quiz