Dear Peer Consultants,
I am always having difficulties differentiating between “to” and “too.” Is there an easy way to help me remember when I should be using them?
A Fellow Student
Dear Fellow Student,
You are not alone in this! In fact, most people have troubles differentiating between the two. These words do sound alike and this is probably the main reason as to why people confuse them.
It is first crucial to understand the meanings of these words and how they are used in various sentences. Then, after understanding the definitions and trying to use them in sentences, you will recognize a pattern that will help you distinguish between them.
The word “to” is what we call a preposition. A preposition is a word that designates location and is often used to express relationships. A preposition is just like it sounds (pre-position) and usually comes before some other word, specifically nouns or noun phrases in sentences.
Some examples of prepositions are: in, out, across, at, before, behind, of, off, to, etc. Since we are specifically talking about the word “to,” it is important to give some examples of it and how it appears in sentences.
The preposition “to” can have similar meaning to the word “until” or also be used to show direction. An example of “to” in a sentence would be: “Talk to me.” Another example would be: “Go to bed!”
The word “too,” on the other hand, has a completely different meaning. The word “too” is simply an adverb that can mean “also,” or an excess of something. An easy way to check which word to use is to try and replace the word “to” or “too” with “also” and check if the sentence is comprehensible.
If it makes sense, then you should most likely use the form “too.” If not, then substitute it with “to.” An example of “too” used correctly in a sentence would be: “I want burgers, too.” If you replace the “too” with “also,” the sentence makes sense, which tells you that it is the right word to use.
If you need any further assistance, we would be more than happy to have you at the LAC in the Bradner Library.
The Writing Support Studio