To, Too, Two

To too two header BLUE

Sometimes I get lucky and a bunch of readers ask for help on the same homophones — you know, those pesky words that sound the same (or nearly so) but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Quite a few folks commented this way on yesterday’s Tuesday Tricksters post, so I though I’d make sure we all can correctly use these three words: two, too, and to.

It seems as though most writers use two correctly, somehow remembering it’s the number 2, the one between 1 and 3. I rarely see any confusion surrounding this word.

BUT.

Oh my. What writers do with to and too! Ouch.

So, let’s finally learn how to use too, because if everyone already knows how to use two, and everyone can learn how to use too, then as the picture at the bottom says — use to for everything else!

According to the American Heritage dictionary, too means:

  • More than enough; excessively:
    She worries too much.
    Amy ate too many clams.
    Diane has 12 cats; that’s too many, isn’t it?
  • In addition; also:
    He’s coming along too.
    Sarah went to the party too!
  • To a regrettable degree:
    My error was all too apparent.
    I was a little too honest with my remarks.
    Bill studies too little sometimes.
    Shawn says there are too few hours in his day!
  • Very; extremely; immensely:
    He’s only too willing to be of service.
    John is all too eager to help us with social media!
  • (Informal / colloquial) Indeed; so:
    You will too do it!
    You can’t do that. I can too!

So when we’re adding emphasis or making some sort of comparison, saying that something is MORE, EXTREMELY, VERY — bigger or smalleror more or less — we must use the word that has an added letter: TOO.

 

Hope the graphic above helps . . .