Tuesday’s Tips: Too Many Twos to Remember!

One set of homonyms that frequently gets confused is two, to, and too. Let’s define these words:

  • Two is the number 2 spelled out.
  • Too is used to modify other adjectives and adverbs, and means “to an excessive degree.” Examples: too many, too expensive, too softly.
  • To is both a preposition, meaning “the opposite of from,” and part of the infinitive form of verbs, such as to run, to swim, to write.

Most people confuse the last two words: to and too. A mnemonic device I find useful is:

There are too many o’s in too.

This is to help remember that if you’re saying something is “too _____” (heavy, expensive, etc.), you would use too. Otherwise, use to, unless you mean the number two.

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