Learn and Speak languages with native speakers

To, too, two explained

To, Too, Two worksheet

To, Too, Two - Explained

By Zak Hall - English Grammar

To, Too, Two - Explained

“I’m going to the shops for two tomatoes too.”

This is a rather confusing sentence to read as I’m sure you agree!

It is, however, an easy one to say. The words “to”, “two” and “too” sound the same in this example. The problem is that they are very different when written down on paper.

As an English teacher, this is a mistake I see so very often.

It’s really a native error that should not be as common as it is. As usual in English, the fact that the words sound the same when spoken, means that we often write them incorrectly.

In this article we will analyse the differences carefully to make sure that you do not make the same mistakes.

 

to, too, two

 

To

The word “to” is used as a preposition. The preposition of “to” helps to link words together and show the relationship between them. For example, “I am going to the shops today.” The most common use is to show direction or movement towards another object or figure.

Here are some more examples:

“I am going to Spain on holiday.”

“She went to the bank.”

“Is this the way to the station?”

Too

The word “too” is used as an adverb to indicate additional information. To fully understand this construction, you should substitute the word “also” in place of “too” and see if it still makes sense. For example, “I’m going shopping too.” will work as “I’m going shopping also.”.

Here are some more examples:

“You like music? Me too!”

“James wants chocolate too.”

“I too like going surfing.”

Two

This one should be the easiest to explain. The word “two” is always a number, without exception. For example, “There are two shops on that street.”. Look for the “w” in the middle of the word as you write. If you are not denoting the number of an object, then you are using it incorrectly.

Here are some more examples:

“They have two dogs as pets.”

“I’ll take two salads, please.”

“Writing is one of the two main passions in my life.”

 

It’s so important to remember the distinct differences between these words. The best way to do this is to think about the purpose of your sentence.

It’s relatively straightforward if you take the time to think about it.

These words have no relation to one another except that they sound the same when spoken. “To”, “Too” and “Two” are all used in very different situations and so once you can identify the idea that you want to express, you will easily be able to choose the correct form.

Always make sure to proofread your work when writing. It is easy to make silly mistakes when writing under pressure. As already stated, this is something that native speakers do regularly. We write down words as we hear them in their brain. A quick five or ten minute check at the end of your work could potentially save your professional reputation and will show that you take great pride in your work.

So remember:

“To” is used as a preposition, usually referring to direction or movement.

“Too” is used to indicate additional or extra material.

“Two” is just a number.

Practice these forms often by doing fill-in-the-gap exercises and by simply doing as we have done above, writing out sentences and checking them for accuracy. It takes time to build strong habits and you will need to repeat this over and over again. Once you get it, you will never make the mistake again.