To vs. Too: When to Use To or Too with Useful Examples

Last Updated on December 6, 2023

When people write in English, many writers confuse to vs. too. Whether it comes from not understanding the finer details of these words or it’s just a simple slip of the mind, this is definitely something that writers need to look out for.

The Main Differences between To and Too

TO vs. TOOPin

To vs. Too: Key Takeaways

When we write, choosing between “to” and “too” correctly is crucial for clear communication. Here’s a succinct breakdown to ensure we use these terms accurately:

  • “To” is versatile:
    • As a preposition, it indicates direction or a relationship between elements in a sentence. Example: We walked to the park.
    • In its role as part of the infinitive form of a verb, it precedes the base form. Example: We love to dance.
  • “Too” has a more straightforward use as an adverb:
    • It implies excessiveness when in front of adjectives or other adverbs. Example: This coffee is too hot.
    • It can mean also or in additionExample: We are going to the movies, and our friends are coming too.

To vs. Too: The Definition and Usage

To state it briefly, “to” and “too” represent different parts of speech in English.

  • The word “to” is a preposition. A preposition demonstrates the relationship between two things.
  • The word “too” is used as an adverb/ adjective. That means that it shows to what degree something is done or the quality of a certain thing.
  • Lastly, “too” can also mean “also,” “as well,” or “in addition.”

When to Use TO

“To” can be used in many situations in English.

  • It can be used to show directions: I’m going to the store.
  • It can also be used as an infinitive verb: I don’t have any plans for the weekend, I want to take a rest.

When to Use TOO

When it comes to “too”, we use this word when modifying other words:

  • My dog was trying to sleep, but it was too hot.
  • I wanted to buy this shirt, but it was too expensive.
  • She understands if you are too busy to go to her party.

Here are some examples of the last meaning (“too” can also mean “also,” “as well,” or “in addition.”)

  • My friend was going to a concert so I decided that I would go too.
  • You must do your best too.
  • That game is difficult too.

Useful Tips for To or Too

Remember these tips:

  1. If expressing addition, use “too“:
    • She wants to come with us, and we’d like her too.
  2. For indicating excess, “too” is your word:
    • This coffee is too hot to drink right away.
  3. To” fits when pointing towards a direction:
    • Let’s head to the beach this weekend.
  4. When in doubt, ask if the sentence implies addition or excess. If not, “to” is likely the correct choice.

Here’s a quick reference table:

Use Case Word Example
Addition too “We’d like ice cream too.”
Excess too “It’s too early to leave.”
Direction to “We walked to the park.”
Purpose to “We’re saving money to buy a car.”

To or Too: Related Confused Words

In our experience with the English language, we often encounter words that sound alike but have different meanings. Homophones like “to,” “too,” and “two” frequently lead to errors in writing.

To vs. Two

  • To is a preposition used to indicate direction, purpose, or a recipient. For example, “We are going to the park,” or “This gift is for you to keep.”
  • Two represents the number 2 in written form. It is used when counting or indicating quantity. For instance, “We have two cats at home.”

It is clear that while “to” and “two” share pronunciation, their functions in a sentence are distinct. “Two” refers specifically to the numerical value, never functioning as a preposition like “to.”

Examples of To or Too in Sentences

Examples of “To” in Sentences

  1. She walked to the store to buy some groceries.
  2. I need to finish this project by Monday to meet the deadline.
  3. He gave the book to his sister as a birthday present.
  4. We’re planning to go to the beach this weekend.
  5. Could you send the email to me when you have a chance?

Examples of “Too” in Sentences

  1. This coffee is too hot to drink right now.
  2. She was too tired to go out after work.
  3. The suitcase is too heavy for me to lift by myself.
  4. He’s coming too, so we need to wait for him.
  5. The music was too loud at the party last night.

Examples of Sentences that Use Both “To” and “Too”

  1. I was going to invite her to the concert, but I thought it might be too loud for her taste.
  2. The car is too expensive for me to afford on my salary.
  3. She would like to join the club, too, but she doesn’t have enough time.
  4. It’s never too late to learn something new.
  5. The package needs to be delivered to the office, and it’s too big to fit in my backpack.

Practice and Exercises

Fill in the blank 

  1. Can you give this book __________ me when you’re done reading it?
  2. She was __________ tired to continue hiking and decided to turn back.
  3. I need to go __________ the store to buy some groceries.
  4. The music was __________ loud, and it was giving me a headache.
  5. Are you going __________ attend the meeting this afternoon?
  6. This suitcase is __________ heavy for me to lift by myself.
  7. He wants to learn how __________ play the guitar over the summer.
  8. I think I added __________ much salt to the recipe.
  9. She’s planning to travel __________ Europe next year.
  10. It’s __________ early to tell whether the project will be successful.

Answer with Explanation 

  1. Answer: to
    • Explanation: “To” is used as a preposition indicating direction or the person affected.
  2. Answer: too
    • Explanation: “Too” means excessively; she was excessively tired.
  3. Answer: to
    • Explanation: “To” is used as a preposition indicating direction.
  4. Answer: too
    • Explanation: “Too” means excessively; the music’s volume was excessively high.
  5. Answer: to
    • Explanation: “To” is used as an infinitive marker before a verb.
  6. Answer: too
    • Explanation: “Too” means excessively; the suitcase’s weight was excessively much.
  7. Answer: to
    • Explanation: “To” is used as an infinitive marker before a verb.
  8. Answer: too
    • Explanation: “Too” means excessively; more salt was added than necessary.
  9. Answer: to
    • Explanation: “To” is used as a preposition indicating direction.
  10. Answer: too
    • Explanation: “Too” means excessively; it’s excessively early for predictions.

FAQs on To vs. Too

Q: When should we use “to”?
A: We use “to” mainly as a preposition to indicate a direction, such as “We went to the park,” and as part of an infinitive verb, like “We love to swim.”

Q: How is “too” different from “to”?
A: “Too” is an adverb that we use to express “also” (e.g., “We are coming, too”) or excessiveness (e.g., “We ate too much”).

Q: Can “to” and “too” be used interchangeably?
A: No. Although they’re homophones, they cannot replace each other because they have distinct meanings and functions.

Word Function Example Sentence
to Preposition/Part of infinitive “We’re going to the store to buy groceries.”
too Adverb (also/excessively) “We’re too tired to go out, but we’d like to stay up too.”

Q: How can we remember the difference between “to” and “too”?
A: A simple trick is to remember that “too” has an extra “o” which stands for “over” or “extra”, signifying excessiveness or the addition of something.

Related Homophones

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