Grammar 101: Two, Too and To

Last Update: June 22, 2022

Grammar 101: Two, Too and To

Previously:

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/phil1944/blog/feeling-youre-...

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/phil1944/blog/grammar-101-it...

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/phil1944/blog/grammar-101-yo...

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/phil1944/blog/grammar-101-th...

A Few Simple Rules Are All You Need

There's no doubt that, in its entirety, English grammar is complex, especially for someone learning English as a second language.

But...

If you're a native English speaker and just want to avoid common grammatical errors in your writing (such as blog posts on your website) there are only a handful of rules that you need to memorize.

So this series of posts is for those who'd like to ditch the Grammarly crutch and just know what's right and what's not.

Here's the fourth one:

Two, Too and To

Let's dispense with "two" first. It's easy, it only has one meaning and most people are aware of it. "Two" is how you write the number "2". So, for example, "only two people have qualified for entry".

Simple. Just remember it.

The others are more difficult and a lot of people get them wrong.

Too

Let's start with "too". It's used less frequently than "to" and is used in a couple of specific ways:

1. As an alternative to "also" or "as well". For example, "I'm hungry... and thirsty too" is correct, because you could substitute: "I'm hungry, and thirsty as well".

2. As an emphasis, to indicate that something is very (or excessively) so. Some examples are "I can't go to work. I'm too sick", "It's all too much" and "You are too kind".

Here's an additional test. You can always emphasize "too" and it will still make sense, which is not the case for "to". "I'm hungry, and thirsty TOO", "You are TOO kind".

To

If you get "too" right, then you can use "to" for all other cases,

Its most common usages are:

1. To express direction, as in "We are going to the restaurant" or "Please go to the supermarket for me" or a little more subtly "Are you talking to me?"

2. As part of a verb. "To be or not to be" or "I want to go home".

Too and To

And finally, here's an example of both in the one sentence:

"Judy is coming to the party too". A useful model to remember.

Conclusion

It's not too (lol) difficult. Just remember "two" is "2", you can substitute "also" for "too" and use "to" for everything else.

I hope this has helped.

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deelilah Premium Plus
You're too much, Phil, at least two times more than I can keep up with, now, 2am. That's not quite true. It's only 8:30P where I am. But it's too true that I love your posts. To where I am going, that is anyone's guess. But I'll quit while I still can. LOL.
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phil1944 Premium
Always great to hear from you, Donna.
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FKelso Premium Plus
Phil, I'm glad you are doing these...helpful to many who are struggling with writing in English, and also helping some of us who should already have these things down.

Maybe you have time for this one...demonstrate when it is properto use an apostrophe and when not. So many people put in an apostrophe when a simple plural is correct.
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phil1944 Premium
Thanks, Fran. I've covered the common misuse of "it's" and "its" but you're quite right, the curse of the random apostrophe strikes frequently.
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jn232 Premium
An excellent rule here, Phil.
Sometimes I did come across messages from my friends about using the word 'too'. Not sure if they had unintentionally left out an 'o' or otherwise.

Joe
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phil1944 Premium
Thanks, Joe. I hope you found it useful.
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bjdluna Premium Plus
Yet another exception to the rule! That's the English language. Full of exceptions to the rule!

Thanks, Phil!
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phil1944 Premium
I must have missed that, Barbara. What exception are you referring to?
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bjdluna Premium Plus
All of these grammar things, there is always an exception to the rule. That's why there are so many different meanings for the same word.

Thanks, Phil!

Barbara
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DDurancie Premium
That reminds me of my school days. Thanks for sharing this
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phil1944 Premium
Then I hope your school days were happy ones, Diana. I'm trying to present simple, practical ways to achieve good grammar without relying on software.
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DDurancie Premium
I enjoyed those days, A lot of us do not realize the disadvantages of software/technology. It taking over our thinking
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phil1944 Premium
Indeed. Some people can't add two single-digit numbers together without using a calculator. As for multiplication...
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