The Grammar GuideSpellingWhat's the difference between "to", "too", and "two"?

What's the difference between "to", "too", and "two"?

What's the difference between "to", "too", and "two"?

People often confuse the words to, two, and too, but they all have different meanings and are different parts of speech.

To is a preposition that is used to show location, distance, or motion.

Two is a number that follows one.

Too is an adverb that means also, more, or very.

Let's look at each of these in more detail.

To

To is a preposition. A preposition is a small word that connects nouns or phrases to other words in a sentence. They help show a relationship between words. To is a tiny word, but it has many uses. It can show movement or direction: he went to school. It can also mean toward, as in the dog came to me. It can show a limit, such as stop when you get to five hundred words. To can also mean on or upon. For instance, I applied gloss to my lips.

Two

Two is pronounced exactly the same way as to, but the meaning is much simpler. It is a number. Two means 2. You will also use two when writing out compound numbers. For example: twenty-two, two hundred and six, one thousand two hundred and twelve. In standard form, these look like 22, 206, and 1212.

Too

Too is an adverb that we use in many different ways. Too can replace the word also. This can work at the end of a sentence, as in I am a Gemini, too. It can also follow a noun or pronoun: She, too, can sing. We also use too to express when something is excessive. We can say I am too full for dessert or he is too close to the edge. Similarly, too can mean very, as in I am just too excited!

Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.