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To, Too, and Two!



English has so many words that are spelled differently, have different meanings, but are pronounced exactly the same. How can you know which to use when you are writing?

Let me try to clear things up a little in this post.


To vs. Too


Grammatically speaking, “To” is a preposition or part of a verb infinitive.

Example: I went “to” the hardware store “to” buy a new hammer.


As a preposition, it will always precede a noun and as part of an infinitive it precedes a verb.

Examples:

I went to my sister’s house to help her bake cookies.

I want to study English.

My brother wants to go to a party tonight.

The paper fell to the floor.

My little sister says she wants to be a princess when she grows up!


Too is used to denote excess of something, such as: I ate too much candy and now my stomach aches!

When too is used to mean an excess of something, it is negative. I often hear people say “I love him/her too much!” In this case you would use so or very, but not too.


Too can also be used instead of also or in addition. Example: I’m going to the movies tonight. Mary might come too.


If you’re not sure which /tu/ to use (to or too) try reading the sentence omitting to/too.

When you omit to, the sentence will not make sense, but when you omit too it still makes sense.

For example: I have to go to the store, would read: I have go the store, which doesn’t make sense.

I ate too many pieces of pizza, would read: I ate many pieces of pizza, which still makes sense


The last /tu/ on this list is the easiest to remember. It is the number 2 or two.


I hope this makes things a little clearer. Next week I’ll talk about some other very confusing homophones.

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