When to use To, Too and Two?
Words Homophones: “To,” “Too,” and “Two.” It’s easy to confuse the spelling of these words, and when to use them, because they are homonyms. Homonym means: “words that sound the same, but are spelt differently or vice versa”. In this case, they are all pronounced identically as “to”, in the international phonetic alphabet. Hopefully, this article should clear it up for you, with tips to help you so that you can learn to understand and use them naturally.
When to use To
“To” is a preposition, which means that it has to precede a noun. In this case, it should relate to time and space in some form. In other words, it should indicate which direction someone or something is headed towards.
When to use Too
“Too” is an adverb, which means that it should be used before an adjective, verb, a clause, or another adverb. “Too” can be used concerning words which indicates to what extent something happens or is being made. It can also be used in place of “additionally”, and words which end with the letters “ly” are generally adverbs.
When to use Two
“Two” is a number, which is used as an adjective to show that there are 2 of something.
Examples of To vs. Too
“Too” is a synonym to the words “also” (or “additionally“), and “overabundance” (meaning excessive amount) or very. So my tip would be to consider if you can replace it with either the word “also” or “very“, depending on the situation.
If the same meaning of the sentence would remain when you replace “too” with the word “also” or “very“, then you would use “too”. If it would not make sense, then use “to“. “To” on the other hand, is a synonym for “towards”, and can thus replace the word “to” sometimes (but not always).
Sometimes it should instead be replaced by the term: “so that I can“. In the example below, you could replace the first and fourth “to” with the word “towards”, while the second “to” could instead be replaced by “so that I can”. The third “to” is more confusing, where you could replace the “have to” with “must”. Although I tried to explain how you can return “to“, it is a lot easier just to follow the guidelines for how to replace “too“.
Example of when to use to: “I am going to the supermarket to buy groceries, but I have to walk from my house to the bus stop first.”
Example of when to use too: “I want to play football, but I want to play tennis too. There are just too many options; it is too hard to choose.”
Examples of To vs. Two
It is a less common mistake, but if you are still guilty of doing it, just remember that if there is a win one of the “to” sounding words, it means that there should be 2 of something.
Example of when to use two: “Amanda has a white dog and a black dog. Amanda has two dogs.”