It Ain’t Grammer: “To vs Too vs Two”

Like in my other “It Ain’t Grammer” posts, I see this mistake all the time. People saying to when they mean too. More often it’s that way than too when they mean to. Though thankfully I rarely ever see anyone mistake either one of those for two.

I think it’s fairly obvious that two is the number 2. So I don’t even feel I need to give you examples of when to use it. It’s pretty common knowledge that when it’s spelled with a “w” it’s a number.

But how do you know when you should use to and when you should use too? Well, my fellow followers, let me explain.

Too is generally synonymous with “as well” and is synonymous with “overabundance”. What do I mean by that? Simple, use too when you want to say “as well” (for the most part, I’ll go into detail in just a bit) or use it when you’re saying that there’s an overabundance of something.

“I want to go, too.” “That’s too much.” “Hey, I can drive, too.” “Are you sure you’re not taking too many pills?”

Notice how in the first and third example you can replace the word too with the words “as well” and it would still make sense. And notice how in examples two and four it’s talking about an overabundance of something. In the fourth example it’s an overabundance of pills, whereas in the second example it’s fairly ambiguous.

Now you can’t always just replace “as well” with the word too. For example in the sentence, “It’s just as well.” You can’t say “It’s just too.” That doesn’t make sense. So don’t think of it as a way to replace “as well”, think of “as well” as a way to replace too when you’re not referring to an overabundance.

Now when do you use to? Well anytime that you can’t replace it with “as well” and you’re not referring to an overabundance…and you’re not using the number 2.

“I have to go.” “That’s just something I need to do.” “To make myself clear, I’ll enunciate better.”  “You’re going to leave me now?”

So there you have it. Now you know when to use too and when to use to. And notice that I used “to” two times in that last sentence. There’s another example. And please don’t mess up when you should use two. That one should be obvious.

Just like the others, here are some practice sentences:

1. “I, (to/too), want (to/too) go.”

2. “This (to/too) shall pass.”

3. “This coffee is (to/too) hot.”

4. “This reminds me of the time I went (to/too) Montego Bay.”

5. “(To/Too) inflict more pain, I need (to/too) hit harder.”

6. “But not that hard, that hurts (to/too) much.”

Know someone who can’t seem to figure this out? Tease them about it. Then go ahead and share this post with them so they can stop feeling insecure.

Want to help me out? Please like, comment on and/or share this post. It would really mean a lot to me. Also, if you like my posts, please subscribe to this blog and then you’ll be notified when I post something new.


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