Grammar To vs. Too vs. Two: Are You Using Them Correctly? |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

To vs. Too vs. Two: Are You Using Them Correctly?

Are there any three identically pronounced words in the English language that can give people so much trouble? Even those who grew up with these words in school can confuse them. If you doubt this, simply visit your favorite social media site after reading this article. There’s a chance you could see incorrect usage, particularly the interchanging of too and to.

Our goal is to help ensure you avoid such inaccuracies. Today we’ll look at the differences and correct usages of these words.

The Meaning of the Word Two

We’ll begin with the simplest of the trio. The word two, spelled with a w, refers to the number that comes between one and three. It can also be expressed numerically as 2.

Here is an example of two in a sentence:

I went to the store to buy two apples for my sister.

Most native English speakers don’t struggle with this word. However, some can still be tripped by the next distinction.

The Difference Between To and Too

Too means “also,” “as well,” or “in addition.” It can also mean “excessively.”

Examples
My cousin stayed and watched the movie with us, too. (in addition)
I planned on exercising, but I slept in too late. (excessively)

The word to, with a single o, is a little more complex. It can be used with an infinitive verb, such as “to sleep” or “to eat.” It can also be used as a preposition that means “toward.”

Examples
We bought a new sofa so guests will have a place to sit. (infinitive)
I will go to the store after the game has ended. (preposition)

As a guideline, you can simply remember that you want the longer word, too, when looking to express an addition or an excess of something.

 

Pop Quiz

Based on what you have learned in this article, fill in the blanks below with the correct usage of to, too, or two:

  1. Jamie has always been _____ talkative for his own good.
  2. I am planning a trip _____ California in the summer.
  3. It is always pleasant _____ nap on a rainy afternoon.
  4. Potatoes are good with chicken, and carrots are, ____.
  5. Could you bring me _____ aspirin pills from the cabinet?

 

Pop Quiz Answers

  1. Jamie has always been too talkative for his own good.
  2. I am planning a trip to California in the summer.
  3. It is always pleasant to nap on a rainy afternoon.
  4. Potatoes are good with chicken, and carrots are, too.
  5. Could you bring me two aspirin pills from the cabinet?


 

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