To vs Too | Difference, Definition & Examples

Commonly Confused Words updated on  January 30, 2024 4 min read

“To” is a preposition that is typically used to indicate movement towards something (e.g., “She drove to the store”). It’s also frequently used as a function word that indicates that the following verb is an infinitive (e.g., “My niece loves to dance”).

“Too” is an adverb that means “also” or “very” (e.g., “That’s too much candy for us”). It describes something as being excessive, additional, or more than enough.

Examples: To in a sentence

Examples: Too in a sentence

We should go to the party.

They were too scared to go inside the haunted mansion.

Eddy wanted to play the video game.

Lauren ate too much and had a stomach ache.

Tip
Here’s an effective way to test if you’re using the right homophone: Replace the word in question with “also” or “very.” If the sentence still makes sense, then “too” is the appropriate choice.

I want to go too.
I want to go also.
She went to the mall.
She went also the mall.


To definition

“To” is a versatile word that has several uses. For example, full infinitives are formed by using the word “to” followed by the base form of the verb (e.g., “to eat,” “to watch,” “to record”). It’s important to remember this when using phrases like “used to,” rather than the incorrect “used too.”

Examples: To vs too
I used to play the violin in middle school.
I used too play the violin in middle school.

“To” is also a preposition that helps indicate the direction of movement (e.g., “We went to the lake”) or links an action to a recipient (e.g., “He gave that to you”).

Below, you’ll find a table with the different uses of “to,” along with definitions and examples.

Different uses of to

Definition

Example

Used as a function word to indicate a place or direction He went to the fair.
Used as a function word to mark the end of a range or time I’ll be there from Monday to Wednesday.
Used as a function word to indicate that a specific condition has been reached or achieved The young calves grew to maturity.
Used as a function word to indicate things are linked or connected The balloon was attached to a string.
Used as a function word to introduce the second part of a comparison or ratio I prefer cycling to hiking.
Used as a function word to describe amounts or rates The exchange rate was twenty to one.
Used as a function word to indicate who got or will get something He gave it to her.
Used as a function word to help identify who or what is influenced by an action Why did you do that to your dress?

Too definition

“Too” is an adverb that also has various uses (although not as many as “to”).

Different uses of too

Definition

Example

Used to modify an adjective and emphasize degree That house is too big.
Used to state that something happens in addition to something else We’re going to the beach and the park too.

Because “too” is used to show that something is excessive, it’s used in many phrases like “too bad,” “too late,” and “too long.”

Examples: Too late vs to late
I think it’s too late to ask for a refund.
I think it’s to late to ask for a refund.

Comma before too

Usually, a comma before too is not necessary. However, it can be added for emphasis.

Examples: Comma before too in a sentence
I want pizza too.
I want pizza, too.

Commas are also optional when “too” is found between a subject and a verb.

Examples: Commas before and after too in a sentence
Jared too wanted to go skydiving.
Jared, too, wanted to go skydiving.

Commas are sometimes used for clarity before and after “too” when it comes between a verb and its object.

Examples: Commas before and after too for clarity
I wish, too, that they could join us for dinner.
I wish too that they could join us for dinner.

Do you want to know more about common mistakes, commonly confused words, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


Idioms

Parts of speech

Fallacies

Diamond in the rough

Irregular verb

Slippery slope fallacy

Idioms

Gerund

Sunk cost fallacy

Piece of cake

Infinitive phrase

Red herring fallacy

Better late than never

Infinitive

Appeal to authority fallacy

Salt of the earth

Adverb

Circular reasoning fallacy


Frequently asked questions about to vs too

What is the difference between to and too?

“To” is frequently used as a preposition that indicates the direction of movement (e.g., “Let’s go to Paris”) or as part of an infinitive verb (e.g., “I want to read”).

“Too” is an adverb that means “very” or “also” (e.g., “I want a cupcake, too”).

Is it to bad or too bad?

The correct phrase is “too bad,” which is used idiomatically to show sympathy (e.g., “That’s too bad that you couldn’t go”) or indifference (e.g., “Too bad; we all have to work”).

Is it to late or too late?

The correct phrase is “too late,” which shows that the allotted time for something has run out (e.g., “It’s far too late to turn that in”).

Is a comma required before too?

No, a comma is not always required before “too,” although it can be added for clarity (e.g., “I, too, passed the exam”) or emphasis (e.g., “I tried it, too”).



Tags

Gina Rancano

Gina holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, as well as a certificate in professional and public writing from Florida International University. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.