Taking a vacation? Where are you going?

Having some ice cream? How much will you eat?

These questions can help you understand the difference between "to" and "too".

Drake says,

To: Where are you going?

Imagine you are going on a trip. "To" is like the road that takes you to your destination. Where are you going? location pin

"To" can also be used to talk about direction.

Which way are you going?

compass shows what direction Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash

Use "to" for location/destination: 📌

  • to work 🏢

  • to bed 🛏️

  • to the store 🏪

  • to New York 🍎

  • to school 🏫

  • to the gym 💪

  • to Canada 🍁

Examples: 📌

  • Are you going to work?

  • She went to bed.

  • We will be going to the store.

  • Last year, I went to New York.

  • Every day, I go to school by bus.

  • I don't like going to the gym.

  • I will go to Canada to study English

Or direction: 🧭

  • to the left ⬅️

  • to the right ➡️

  • to the front ⤴️

  • to the back 🔙

  • to the top 🔝

  • to the bottom ⤵️

Examples: 🧭

  • The soap is to the left.

  • Tell him to turn to the right.

  • Come to the front of the class.

  • Go to the back of the church.

  • Let's walk to the top of the hill.

  • It fell to the bottom of the cliff.

Important note: there is another use of the word "to". We'll get to that later. 👇

Too: How much?

"Too" is used to express "excess". This means something that is MORE than needed.

The Nutty Professor pouring too many M&Ms into his mouth from a jar.

He is eating too much candy.

A man says,

Use "too" with adjectives like "much", "hard", "soon", and "fast" to express excess.

Special tip! "Too" is usually in the negative:

  • Oh No! That's too much information. (more than I want)

  • I ate too much ice cream. (I feel sick)

  • I ate too much. (I will be sick)

  • I was driving too fast. (The police stopped me)

A couple eating noodles that are too spicy.

It can also be used with other adjectives like:

  • too spicy

  • too hot

  • too tall

  • too high

The other "to"

"To" is used for location/destination/direction, as discussed above. 👆

But there is another common use of "to": an infinitive marker! 😱

When "to" comes before a basic verb, it's called an "infinitive marker."

What's an infinitive? Some verbs use their basic form, without showing past or present.

For example:

  • I like to swim.

  • I had to go home.

  • She hopes to learn new words.

  • It is important to listen carefully.

  • We need to eat breakfast.

The infinitive can be used as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs within a sentence.

Keanu Reeves looking confused.

Don't worry. We won't go too deep with infinitives. But remember that "too" and "to" are different.

Eddie Murphy smiles and gives the ok sign with his hands.


Which examples use "too" INCORRECTLY?

Take Action

English learners and even native speakers often use "too" and "to" incorrectly. Here's what you can do to remember the difference between "to" and "too":


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