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Category : Mechanics

To vs. Too vs. Two

To, too, and two are very distinct, different words, yet they seem confusing to many.

To:

“To” is a very simple word, used in a variety of contexts in a sentence.

It can be a preposition, e.g., I went to the market, Hold on to me, I ate to my heart’s content, etc.

It can be used as an infinitive verb phrase. For example:

I had to let go

She sat down to think.

You ought to respect the rule.

Too:

“Too” is also a very simple word that simply means “also”/”in addition, “in excess,” or “extra.”

“Too” is an adverb.

Examples:

“I want to help,” said Piglet. “Me, too,” said Pooh. (Meaning= also)

That diamond ring is too expensive.  (Meaning = excessively)

I love you too. (Meaning = also)

The trick is to remember to use “too” (with an additional “o”) whenever the word should mean “in addition”. For all other usages, however, use “to.”

Example: Teddy is going to eat a pie. Shelly is going to eat a pie too.

Two:

“Two” is a number, commonly written in words (like all other numbers) if it is mentioned in single digit. It can be a noun or an adjective.

Examples:

I have two children.

The number she chose was two.

The vendor has two more shops to visit.

Sentence with to, too, and two:

Sarah wanted to go to the beach. Paul wanted to go, too. So, the two went together.

A or An?

The basic rule for the two indefinite articles—“a” and “an”—is simple:

While “a” is used before words that start with consonants, “an” precedes words that begin with vowels (a, e, I, o, and u).

Examples for “a”:

A banana a day kept the monkey happy.

A dog squad always comes in handy for policemen.

It is a rainy day.

A snake slithered along the way.

I bought a new PC.

Ours is a happy family.

In the examples above, note that article “a” precedes words starting with a consonant. There is, however, an exception: If the word has an unsounded “h” as the first letter, then go with “an.”

Examples for “an” before an unsounded “h”:

Sergeant Wilson is an honest police officer.

It was indeed an honor to meet the mayor.

We may take at least an hour to reach Madison.

Examples for “an” preceding without an unsounded “h:”

Ours is a happy family.

A hat was kept on the table.

“An” goes with vowel words.

Examples for “an”:

An open theatre is better for children.

An ant is an intelligent being.

There is an exception to this theory.

Jonny has an egg and a glass of milk for breakfast.

An aunt of mine is visiting us now.

The “an” rule has two exceptions:  When “o” has a phonetic sound of “w”, and “u” has a phonetic sound of “y” (as in “you”), article “a” should be used.

Examples for “an” exceptions:

It was just a one-dollar deal.

“We insist on bonus,” a union member demanded.

The guest trashed a used towel.

Adjectives or Adverbs

Adjectives:

Adjectives are words that modify nouns, whereas adverbs, in general, modify verbs. Adjectives and adverbs offer additional meaning to nouns and verbs respectively. They can appear before or after words they modify.

  • Examples for sentences with adjectives:

Darryl is my favorite uncle.

That’s an old oak tree.

The hot summer is here!

I have two children.

Those were the glorious years of his life.

Identifying adjectives in a sentence is easy: if a question such as “What kind of,” “How many” or “which kind” before a noun offers answers in a sentence, then such words are known as adjectives. Take a relook at the above examples:

Darryl is my favorite uncle. (Which kind of uncle is Darryl?)

That’s an old oak tree. (What kind of an oak tree is that?)

The hot summer is here! (What kind of summers are here?)

I have two children. (How many children I have?)

Those were the glorious years of his life. (What kind of years in your life were they?)

Adverbs:

Adverbs are words that modify verbs. It can even modify adjectives and other adverbs.

In the case of adverbs modifying verbs, the adverb can be identified by dropping a question “how” to the verb.

  • Examples for adverbs that modify verbs:

Sharon sings well. (How does she sing?)

I did my exams badly. (How did I do my exams?)

The monkey danced happily. (How did the monkey dance?)

In the case of adverbs modifying adjectives, the adverb can be identified by dropping a question “how” to the adjective.

  • Examples for adverbs that modify adjectives:

My mom is really nice. (“Well” is an adjective. How nice my mom is?)

His nails were horribly dirty. (“Dirty” is an adjective. How dirty were his nails?)

They were dead tired. (“Tired” is an adjective. How tired were they?)

In the case of adverbs modifying adverbs, the adverb can be identified by dropping a question “how” to the verb.

  • Examples for adverbs modifying adverbs:

The train chugged painfully slowly. (How slowly did the train chug?)

Then she went happily praising him.  (How did she go praising him?)

The teacher spoke really well. (How well did the teacher speak?)

In certain cases, adverbs can even modify nouns and noun phrases. In such contexts, adverbs can also answer a “When,” “Where,” “Which,” “how,” and “Why” clause. Examples:

My duty tomorrow will be challenging. (Duty, when?)

The room upstairs is airy. (Room is airy, which one?)

We had quite a lovely time. (Lovely time it was. How lovely?)