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To, two, and too

Another troublesome triad, "to", "two", and "too".  Let's set these` frequently-confused words straight!

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  • female robot grace style avatar for user Walks on the Clouds
    Here's a question for Advanced Grammarians: How do you know when you need a comma when you use the word "too" in a sentence where "too" means "also?"
    For instance, I believe that it's necessary when you say: "I, too, want some pizza." But perhaps the comma is optional when you say: "I want some pizza, too."
    Any thoughts?
    (18 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Atreya Vedantam
      When any word which disturbs the flow of a sentence, it requires to be separated be either or comma or a dash. In the first instance you gave, the word "too" interrupts the sentence, "I want some pizza." Thus, "too" must be separated from the sentence - "I, too, want some pizza." But if the "too" comes after the sentence, there is no requirement for a comma (it is optional) because now it does not interrupt it, rather is mentioned like an afterthought. Another way to frame the same sentence is - "I - too - want some pizza."

      Please vote up if this is correct.
      (43 votes)
  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Θ®Ď€®
    "I too wanted some pizza, but there were too many people heading to Two Marks Pizzas."

    Does this sentence work? And also does it describe all of the words David described?
    (9 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Polina Vitić
      Looks good! (Maybe you could capitalize "Two Marks Pizzas" if that's the name of the pizzeria.) Nice work using "too" in two different ways :)

      Here's what I got:
      "I'm hungry too, but not enough to eat two pizzas - that's too much for me!"

      ...or this:
      "He's too tired to run two miles to the store to get the two-for-one sammies tonight - it's too much to ask when he's only in week two of his C-2-5K (Couch to 5K) training, and I happen to know because I just started to train for my first Bay to Breakers race too."
      (4 votes)
  • mr pants orange style avatar for user Rohith
    mo , moo , mooo - said by the ancient cow
    (9 votes)
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  • cacteye green style avatar for user danieljwojnicki
    The differences between To, two, and too in a nutshell:

    To is a preposition.

    "I will go to my school early."

    Two is usually an adjective that happens to be a number.

    "I will have two slices please."

    Too is an adverb.

    "The assignment is too hard!"

    Or,

    "Can I come too?"

    I hope my comment was helpful!
    (7 votes)
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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user gabrielsantos24
    Though completely unrelated to the video, why is it "I am headed to..." and not "I am heading to..." Isn't "headed" in the past tense, and if so, why does it follow the present verb "am?"
    (5 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user b1_
    It seems to me that the word 'to' is incorrectly substituted in for the word 'too' far too often on the internet today--there's got to be an easy trick to distinguish them. I like to imagine I have a sarcastic, overly-dramatic and exaggeration-prone little sister and get her to run the sentence.
    e.g
    'You ate tooooo much pizza, idiot brother!' - this works, so correct use here is 'too'
    ' I wanted pizza toooo! No fair.' - this works, so correct use here is 'too'
    whereas:
    'Tooooo be or not tooooo be, that is the question, isn't it?' doesn't work--the elongated too's seem out of place, therefore the correct use here is 'to' not 'too'.
    (3 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user TeenJinxy
    Mastered these too already. Example "These two are too predictable already, they're going over there, to the parade, to hide their cats in roller coaster seats.
    (4 votes)
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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Zarin Zeba
    to would as in where to?
    too would have to do with amount
    and two is a number
    (4 votes)
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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Ice Firebreather
    Shouldn't the sentence be 'I am heading to the pizzeria" instead of "I am headed to the pizzeria"? the first one sounds more... right.
    (2 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      In the sentence, I am heading to the pizzeria. the verb is in the present progressive tense, indicating that the action here is in progress.
      In the sentence I am headed to the pizzeria. The verb is "am". It is the simple presence. In this sentence, "headed to the pizzeria" is an adverbial phrase modifying your state of being.

      "How it sounds" is not always the best determiner. It's kind of like deciding how something is spelled by "how it looks".
      (3 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user adrianna.joseph
    mmm,what is there their they're for
    (3 votes)
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Video transcript

- [Instructor] Hello grammarians. Today, we're gonna talk about the confusion that happens between these three homophones, these three words that sound exactly the same. The preposition to, the number two and the adverb too. Now these words all sound very similar. In fact, they sound exactly the same. If I were to write this out phonetically, here is what I would do. That's how you'd write it in the international phonetic alphabet for every pronunciation. You say that word, tu. You say that word, tu. You say that word, tu. If you were looking this up in a dictionary, that's how you would render this spelling phonetically. That's the sound of those words. They all sound exactly the same. So what we need to do is come up with a way to keep them all separate. And the way I'm going to do that is with the prince of foods, the pizza. Let's just call that a pizza. Now, to, T-O, is a preposition and so that means that it's expressing some kind of relationship in time and space. In this case we can say, one of its many, many meanings is that it means it's moving towards something. So for example, I am headed to Frank Cerisano's Pizzeria. Right, so we can see in context this is intentional, it's in motion and that's why we'd wanna use a preposition. Where am I going? To Frank Cerisano's Pizzeria. Next, T-W-O, also pronounced tu, you're welcome, is a number. It's this thing so we'd use this mostly as an adjective to describe how many things there are. So I would say, at the pizzeria, I ordered two pizzas and ate them by myself. Right, so when we're talking about the number of things, you wanna use T-W-O. And finally we have T-O-O, too, which is an adverb and they can either mean an over abundance of something or also. Let me give you examples for both of those cases. So example case number one, the excessive amount. I ate too much pizza, I feel awful. Now some of you may take issue with that because you don't believe that there is such a thing as too much pizza, I understand. So that's our excessive amount, that's just mountains and mountains of pizza more than one person can or should reasonably eat. That's that definition. And then there is the in addition or also meaning so my sister wanted pizza too, but because of my greed, she did not get any, sorry Julie. Oh, I made her cry. So in order to keep these three very similar sounding words straight, here's what you need to remember. To, T-O, is a preposition that means towards something. I am headed to Frank Cerisano's Pizzeria. T-W-O, the number two, is a number so you'd say I ordered two pizzas. Finally, T-O-O the adverb means either there's an over abundance, there's too much, or in addition, my sister wanted pizza too. So grammarians, I say unto you, remember the pizza. You can learn anything. David out.