To vs Too: What’s the Difference?

To vs Too

“To” is a preposition meaning “toward.” It can also express movement or direction. “Too” is an adverb meaning “also” or “additionally.” 

Difference Between To And Too

‘To’ and ‘too’ are among the most commonly confused words in the English language. You might have noticed their misuse on social media or in a text message. If you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to use the wrong word.

While mixing them up in social media comments usually isn’t a big deal, it’s crucial to properly use ‘to’ and ‘too’ in professional and academic settings. ‘Too’ and ‘to’ have different meanings. To avoid misusing these two similar words, learn the differences between them. 


Definition and Usage of To

‘To’ is a versatile preposition you can use in various situations and contexts. 

Expressing the Relationship Between Two Things

‘To’ usually precedes a noun or a pronoun to express the relation between two words or elements. 

Here’s an example:

The blue notebook belongs to Lisa. 

In the sentence, to shows the relationship between the object Lisa and the subject notebook. It means that the owner of the notebook is none other than Lisa.

Let’s check out a few more similar examples:

  • Kiran is really close to her grandparents. 
  • I don’t like it when you compare me to Sandra. 
  • My bakery stands right next to Diamond Corner Mart.
See Also:  Difference Between Who and Whom

Expressing Motion, Direction, or Result

‘To’ indicates that something is moving towards a goal. It can also mean a direction of movement and a place of arrival. 

Here’s an example:

I will be heading out to the library at noon.

In the above sentence, to implies the act of moving towards a place.

Additional examples of direction or a place of arrival:

  • Have you ever been to Bali?
  • The compass is pointing to the east. 
  • Come out to the gate at the rear entrance. 

Infinitive Marker

‘To’ also serves as the infinitive marker. (An infinitive verb is a verb that isn’t conjugated, such as to swim, to ask, to be.) When a verb takes the infinitive form, you can use it as a noun, adjective, or adverb. 

Example: You need to finish your homework. 

Here, the verb finish follows to, but the actionable verb in the sentence is need. The action of finishing has not happened. The sentence discusses the idea of finishing homework. We use infinitives to explain why someone is doing something, i.e., to show a purpose or intention. 

To Followed By an Action

Terrence visited the nursing home to meet Mr. Lahiri. 

In the above sentence, to explains the intention behind Terrence’s act of visiting the nursing home. 

When To is a Preposition

However, when ‘to’ is a preposition, the ‘-ing’ form follows. It’s not an infinitive.

I look forward to meeting you on Sunday. 

Here, look forward to is a phrasal verb, and the gerund meeting follows it right after. This is similar to phrases like get used to, object to, in addition to, etc.

To Before Phrasal Adverbs:

  • Now that you’re a morning show host, get used to waking up early.
  • I can’t object to letting her take the subway.
  • In addition to preparing lunch, I also did your laundry. 

Introducing A Clause

You can use ‘to’ when you begin a sentence with a clause.

Beginning a Sentence with a Clause

To avoid catching a cold, ensure you adequately cover yourselves. 

Here, the sentence begins with the clause To avoid catching a cold, and it answers the question – Why should you adequately cover yourselves? Simply put, it denotes a purpose, but this time, it’s stated right at the beginning of the sentence.

See Also:  Awhile vs A While

Below are a few more examples:

  • To reach the destination, you must take a right turn.
  • To visit Italy, you will need a visa. 
  • In addition to preparing lunch, I also did your laundry. 

Showing Agreement Or Want

You can also use it to show agreement or when you want to do something or want something to happen.  

Here’s an example:

Quincy would like her friends to visit during the vacation.

Here, to implies Quincy’s desire to have her friends over during the holidays. 

Here’s another usage of ‘to’ that implies an agreement:

We decided to split the bill among the three of us.

In this sentence, the verb decided precedes to, which means that there has been a prior agreement among a group of people to split a bill. 

Let’s look at more examples:

  • Didn’t we agree to leave at 10 am? 
  • We’d love to try the new items on the menu. 
  • What do you want to wear to the party? 


To vs Too

Definition And Usage of ‘Too’

‘Too’ is an adverb that means ‘excessive amount.’ You can also use it in place of ‘as well,’ ‘also,’ ‘besides,’ or ‘in addition.’ 

Let’s take an example:

The dress I bought yesterday was too tight.

In this sentence, too refers to very or extremely. It means that the dress was so tight that it didn’t fit.  

Now, let’s look at another example:

Just like her mother, Mira, too, is an excellent singer.

Here, the use too means also. (Note the use of the commas that offset’ too.’) The sentence means that Mira is as good of a singer as her mother.

Below are a few more example sentences of ‘too’:

  • Eating too much sugar can cause diabetes.
  • You were too distracted in class to have noticed that I called out your name.
  • It’s too cold to ditch the jacket today. 
  • Since we have an extra movie ticket, you can join us too.
See Also:  Worse Vs Worst

Difference Between ‘To’ And ‘Too’

Now that you’ve seen some examples of how to use to vs. too, it’s pretty clear how the two words differ.

Let’s take a look at this comparison chart for a quick summary:

To vs Too
‘To’ can be used in many different contexts. Usage ‘Too’ can be used in two contexts: in place of ‘also’ or ‘as well’ and to mean ‘very’ or ‘excessively.’
Preposition (versatile) Part Of Speech Adverb
Noun, pronoun, or verb Followed By Adjective or adverb
tu: PronunciationParameters Of Comparison


To vs Too: Tricks for Using the Correct Word

If you’re still confused between the homophones to and too, here are a few tips that might help you get the English grammar correct:

  • Try replacing ‘too’ with ‘also’ or ‘as well.’ If it makes sense, you know there’s no scope for mistakes. 
  • As for ‘to,’ check if a verb or a noun/pronoun follows it. If not, it’s probably not the right word to use. 
  • Another easy trick to remember the meaning of the word too is that it has double o’s. Think O + O = as + well. The same doesn’t apply to ‘to.’ Confusion busted!
  • If you want to say ‘very’ or ‘extremely,’ you must add an extra ‘o’ after ‘to.’ 
    • For instance, it cannot be: ‘The container is to tight’; it has to be ‘The container is too (meaning: very) tight.’ 
  • When you’re talking about moving towards or going in a direction, you always have to use the preposition ‘to.’
    • For example, ‘Mirabelle’s house is situated too the left of the town hall.’ is incorrect. You’d rather say, ‘Mirabelle’s house is situated to the left of the town hall.’

There’s no shame in making grammatical errors, especially when it concerns similar sounding words in the English language like ‘to’ and ‘too.’ Knowing when to use ‘to’ vs ‘too’ will help you communicate better in any situation. 


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

Recent Posts