Two, to, and too: Do You Know When To Use Which One?

This may seem like an easy question. Who doesn’t know the difference between “two” and “too” or “to” and “too”? You’d be surprised to find that a lot of people use the wrong to (too or two) on the regular basis. Although this was taught in grammar school, many folks have forgotten which one means what by the time they’ve reached adulthood. The misuse of these simple words can make you or break you when it comes to submitting your manuscript to publishers. Below are a few quick tips to help you distinguish the difference between the to’s (two’s or too’s). I could bore you with all the grammatical rules, and you’d probably forget immediately after reading this. So I’ve tried to make it easy for you to remember.

  • Two: This one is the easiest in my opinion. This represents the number, quantity. Anytime you are referring to a count of something or quantity, this is the two to use.
  • Too: This one has two (2) uses. An easy rule to remember when using the first one is a word swap. Anywhere you can swap out this word for the word “also”, this too can be used.

Example: John has a white shirt too.          OR       John has a white shirt also.

The other usage of “too” is to suggest and excessive or overwhelming amount of something.

Example: Jill wears too much makeup.  OR  This box is too heavy for me.

  • To: Simple, anytime the three above rules don’t apply, this is the “to” to use.