Use of too – word choice — Use of «too» instead of «so» or «very»

definition of too by The Free Dictionary


– too – as well

You use also, too, or as well when you are giving more information about something.

1. ‘also’

Also is usually used in front of a verb. If there is no auxiliary verb, you put also immediately in front of the verb, unless the verb is be.

I also began to be interested in cricket.

They also helped out.

If the verb is be, you put also after it.

I was also an American.

If there is an auxiliary verb, you put also after the auxiliary verb.

The symptoms of the illness were also described in the book.

If there is more than one auxiliary verb, you put also after the first one.

We‘ll also be learning about healthy eating.

Also is sometimes put at the beginning of a clause.

She is very intelligent. Also, she is gorgeous.

Be Careful!
Don’t put also at the end of a clause.

2. ‘too’

You usually put too at the end of a clause.

Now the problem affects middle-class children, too.

I’ll miss you, and Steve will, too.

In conversation, too is used after a word or phrase when you are making a brief comment on something that has just been said.

‘His father kicked him out of the house.’ – ‘Quite right, too.’

‘They’ve finished mending the road.’ – ‘About time, too!’

Too is sometimes put after the first noun phrase in a clause.

I wondered whether I too would become ill.

, Melissa, too, felt miserable.

However, the position of too can make a difference to the meaning of a sentence. ‘I am an American too‘ can mean either ‘Like the person just mentioned, I am an American’ or ‘Besides having the other qualities just mentioned, I am an American’. However, ‘I too am an American’ can only mean ‘Like the person just mentioned, I am an American’.

Don’t put too at the beginning of a sentence.

For more information, see too

3. ‘as well’

As well always goes at the end of a clause.

Filter coffee is better for your health than instant coffee. And it tastes nicer as well.

They will have a difficult year next year as well.

4. negatives

You don’t usually use ‘also’, ‘too’, or ‘as well’ in negative clauses. Don’t say, for example, ‘I’m not hungry and she’s not hungry too’. You say ‘I’m not hungry and she’s not hungry either‘, ‘I’m not hungry and neither is she‘, or ‘I’m not hungry and nor is she‘.

Edward wasn’t at the ceremony, either.

‘I don’t normally drink coffee in the evening.’ – ‘Neither do I.


– very – too

So, very, and too can all be used to intensify the meaning of an adjective, an adverb, or a word like much or many.

1. ‘very’

Very is a simple intensifier, without any other meaning.

The room was very small.

We finished very quickly.

2. ‘so’

So can suggest an emotion in the speaker, such as pleasure, surprise, or disappointment.

Juan makes me so angry!

Oh, thank you so much!

So can also refer forward to a result clause introduced by that.

The traffic was moving so slowly that he arrived three hours late.

3. ‘too’

Too suggests an excessive or undesirable amount.

The soup is too salty.

She wears too much make-up.

Too can be used with a to-infinitive or with for to say that a particular result does not or cannot happen.

He was too late to save her.

The water was too cold for swimming.

See too


Too can be an adverb or a grading adverb.

1. used as an adverb

You use too as an adverb to show that what has just been said applies to or includes someone or something else.

Of course, you’re a teacher too, aren’t you?

Hey, where are you from? Brooklyn? Me too!

2. used as a grading adverb

You use too in front of an adjective or adverb to say that an amount or degree of a quality is more than is needed or wanted.

By then he was far too tall for his little bed.

I realized my mistake too late.

Don’t use ‘very’ in front of too. Don’t say, for example, ‘The hat was very too small for her’. Say ‘The hat was much too small for her’ or ‘The hat was far too small for her’.

That may seem much too expensive.

You can use rather, slightly, or a bit in front of too.

The dress was rather too small for her.

His hair had grown slightly too long over his ears.

I’m afraid the price may just be a bit too high.

Be Careful!
Don’t use ‘fairly’, ‘quite’, or ‘pretty’ in front of too.

You don’t normally use too with an adjective in front of a noun. Don’t say, for example, ‘These are too big boots’. You say ‘These boots are too big‘.

However, too is sometimes used with an adjective in front of a noun in formal or literary English. A or an is put after the adjective. For example, you can say ‘This is too complex a problem to be dealt with here’. Don’t say ‘This is a too complex problem to be dealt with here’.

That’s too easy an answer.

Somehow, Vadim seems too nice a man for the job.

3. used as an intensifier

Some people use too in front of words like kind to say how grateful they are. This is fairly formal.

You’re too kind.

However, you don’t usually use ‘too’ in front of an adjective or adverb simply to emphasize it. Don’t say, for example, ‘I am too pleased with my new car’. The word you use is very.

She was upset and very angry.

Think very carefully.

4. ‘too much’ and ‘too many’

You can use too much with an uncountable noun to say that there is more of something than is needed or wanted.

They said I was earning too much money.

You can also say that there is too little of something.

There would be too little moisture for the plants to grow.

You can use too many with a countable noun to say that there are more people or things than are needed or wanted.

I was making too many mistakes.

You can also say that there are too few people or things.

Too few people nowadays are interested in literature.

You can use much too much or far too much with an uncountable noun to say that there is very much more of something than is necessary or desirable.

This would leave much too much power in the hands of the judges.

These people are getting far too much attention.

You can use far too many with a countable noun to say that there is a much larger number of people or things than is necessary or desirable. Don’t say that there are ‘much too many’ of them.

Every middle-class child gets far too many toys.

Be Careful!
Don’t use too much or much too much in front of an adjective which is not followed by a noun. Don’t say, for example, ‘It’s too much hot to play football’. Say ‘It’s too hot to play football’ or ‘It’s much too hot to play football’.

Grammar Lessons — Too or Enough

Too / Enough

Too and Enough

Too and enough indicate degree. They modify adjectives, adverbs, and nouns.

  • Too means more than what is needed.
  • Enough means sufficient.


He is too old to play football with the kids.
Dave is intelligent enough to do the write thing.
You’re not working fast enough
I don’t have enough time.
He has too many friends.
She has got too much patience

Use of too and enough

1.Enough comes after adjectives and adverbs:



He isn’t old enough to watch this program.
We’re not walking quickly enough.

2.Enough may also precede nouns:



We have enough money .
I have not got enough money to buy this computer.

3.Too comes before adjectives and adverbs:



It’s too hot to wear that coat.
I was driving too fast.

4. Too may also come before nouns when it is used with the expressions too much and too many.

a. Too much is used before uncountable nouns.



There is too much salt in this food.

b. Too many is used before countable nouns



There are too many students in this classroom.

See more about countable and uncountable nouns

Exercise on too and enough

Definition of Too by Merriam-Webster




: to an excessive degree : excessively

too large a house for us


: to such a degree as to be regrettable

this time he has gone too far


: very

didn’t seem too interested

To, Too, Two: What is the Difference?

Despite sounding exactly the same, to, too, and two are all different words with different meanings and functions. So, what is the difference between to, too, and two? It is a good English lesson to learn, as it will save you from needless lectures by teachers and professors in the future if you can keep track of them now.

When to Use To

So, let’s begin with “to.” To has two primary functions that can help us identify when to use it in a sentence. The first function is that of a preposition. When “to” is acting as a preposition, it will always come before a noun. For example,

  • Yesterday, I drove to the mall.
  • That was my first trip to Ann Arbor.
  • Do you want to go to lunch?
  • I brought my computer to the Apple store.

Notice that in each one of these examples, “to” comes before a noun (mall, Ann Arbor, lunch, store).

The second function of “to” is that it indicates to the reader that the verb to follow is an infinitive. In this case, “to” will come before a verb in its infinitive form. For example,

  • I asked him to leave.
  • I need to pack my clothes.
  • I should really get to work.
  • To be or not to be.

All of the verbs following “to” in these sentences are infinitives.

When to Use Too

Too also has two main uses that we can use to help us determine when to use it. The first use is as a synonym for “also.” For example,

  • My brother will be coming along too.
  • Sell the house and furniture too.

The second use of “too” is to mean excessively or to such a degree as to be regrettable. In this second case, “too” will always precede an adjective or adverb. For example,

  • I am far too full to have desert.
  • You are speaking too quickly; I cannot understand.
  • I think you have gone too far this time.
  • Four examples are too many.

A good way to remember the difference between “to” and “too” is that “too” has an extra “O” in it. You might say that it has too many O’s. Or that its amount of O’s are in excess.

When to Use Two

Two is the easiest of the three to keep track of because it is the most distinct. Two is a number, and its “tw” easily fits into other words such as “twice” and “twenty,” which signify the number “2.” Some examples,

  • Two comes before three.
  • Bicycles have two wheels.
  • I have two arms and two legs.

Remember the Difference

There is a clever mnemonic to remember the difference between these three words,

  • To have two cookies is too much!

Another good way to remember is how an English professor of mine once described them to me,

  • Too (also or in excess)
  • Two (the number)
  • To (everything else)

While this is not overly illustrative on the meaning of “to,” it gets across the essential point. Too and two are easy enough to remember. If neither too nor two fit the situation, it’s got to be to.

Too vs. Enough | Grammar Quizzes

Too and enough (Azar 15-3)

In the speaker’s mind, the use of too implies a negative result.

(a) too heavy – impossible to lift

(b) strong enough – possible to lift



too… + infinitive (Swan 598.5-6, 187.6-7 )

We can use an infinitive structure after too + adjective / adverb.

He’s too old to work. / He’s too young to work.    


We can also use an infinitive structure after too much/many

There is too much work to do. / Their are too many jobs to do. 


The infinitive may include a subject which is introduced by for.

There is too much work for me to do. 

The radio is small enough for you to put it in your pocket.  (omit object pronoun) (187.7)


Adjuncts–degree (Huddleston 724)   too and very modify adjectives and adverbs rather than verbs.

He is too hurried to notice it.  [adj.]

He  passes too hurriedly to notice it.   [adv.]

*He too hurries to notice it.    [v.]


too, enough, sufficient, or sufficiently  licenses an indirect complement — an infinitival (Huddleston 14 §8.4)

It is too late [ to go out now].

It is too late [for you to go out now].

It is late enough [for you to go out now].


It is sufficiently late [for you to go out now].



Polarity (Huddleston 9 §4.1) «negatively-oriented polarity-sensitive items» (NPIs)


This porridge is too hot to eat. This porridge is too cold too eat. This porridge is just right.  *This porridge it too right.

English Grammar: How to Use «So» and «Too»

I’ve put so and too together in this lesson because I have heard so many English learners confuse them! Why do the smallest words always cause the most trouble?

In this lesson we will focus on so and too as adverbs and as intensifiers.

The photo above is of Waikiki, Hawaii. What adjectives do you think of when you look at this photo? I think of the adjectives beautiful, peaceful, expensive, and far.

You can use the adverbs so and too to intensify these adjectives. Intensify means become greater, stronger, or more intense.

So is used like very or extremely. It’s another way of saying to a great degree.

Hawaii is so beautiful! It’s so peaceful, but it’s so far and so expensive.

Too has the opposite meaning. Too means more than needed, more than necessary, or more than enough. Too is a negative expression.

I love Hawaii, but it’s too far and too expensive.”

Did you notice that I didn’t say too beautiful or too peaceful? Too is not usually used with positive adjectives.

Remember that adverbs can also be used to describe other adverbs, too, not just adjectives!

In this lesson we will also look at when to use such, so much, so many, too much and too many.



1. So is used BEFORE an adjective or adverb.

So + adjective/ adverb (no noun)

She is so skinny.

Her new boyfriend is so handsome.

Don’t be so naïve!

He drives so fast.

Her new outfit is so lovely.

The cake she made for my birthday is so beautiful!

This movie is so long.

It was so good to talk to you today!

When did he get so fat?

That’s so cool!


2. So CANNOT be used before an adjective + noun

X: She is so a beautiful woman.
X: She is a so beautiful woman.

Instead, before a noun use such. (Remember that the article goes before the adjective.)

such + adjective + noun

She is such a beautiful woman!

I love my new boyfriend. He’s such a great person!

You live in such a nice neighbourhood.

He is such a great singer!

We had such a great day today! The weather was so nice.

He tells such awful jokes.

I love listening to them sing. They have such beautiful voices!



3. So much and so many can be used when you want a stronger way of saying a lot!


With an uncountable noun, use so much:

so much + uncountable noun

I have so much studying to do before the test tomorrow!

Have you ever seen so much food?

There is so much work to be done before the house is clean!

What a great day for skiing! There is so much snow!

So much to do, so little time!


With a plural noun, use so many:

so many + plural noun

I’ve never seen so many people in one place!

It was a great party last night. I met so many new people!

She’s really popular. She has so many friends!

There are so many cards to choose from.

I took so many pictures when I was on vacation!

So many books to read, so little time!


4. Special sentence structure with so:

So + adjective + that-clause

This sentence structure is used to talk about a result in the that-clause that occurs because of so + adjective. That can be left out of the sentence.

The children were so quiet (that) I didn’t even know they were in the room!

The cake was so good (that) we couldn’t stop eating it!

She looks so different (that) I hardly recognize her!

We got to the station so late we missed the train!


Adverbs can also be used in this sentence structure:

She ran so fast she won the race!


Such, so many and so much can all be used in this sentence structure:

It was such a good book (that) I couldn’t put it down.

I read so many books last year (that) I can’t remember them all!

I have so much studying to do (that) I won’t be able to go to the party tonight!




1. Like so, too is used BEFORE an adjective or adverb with NO noun.

Too + adjective / adverb (no noun)

We don’t see her very often. She lives too far away.

Turn the music down. It’s too loud!

She drives too fast.

Don’t work too hard!

Don’t stay out too late. You have to get up early tomorrow!

She tried memorizing the textbook the night before the exam, but it was too little, too late.


2. However, in two situations, too can be used in a positive statement:

You are too funny!

This actually means “You are so funny!” or “You are very funny!


You are too kind!

This means “You are so kind!” or “You are very kind!


3. Sometimes the intensifiers way, far, or much can be added in front of too:

These pants are way too big on me.

She is way too skinny!

She is far too young to be wearing that kind of outfit!

It’s much too late to do anything about global warming.
(This is different from too much!)


4. Too CANNOT be used before an adjective + noun

X: She is too a fat woman.
X: She is a too fat woman.


5. There is no similar word as such to use before adjective + noun



6. Too much and too many have a similar meaning as too.


With an uncountable noun, use too much:

too much + uncountable noun

I feel sick. I drank too much (alcohol) last night!

I ate too much chocolate.

It takes up too much time.

If he has that much time to play video games, then he has way too much time on his hands!

She was a famous singer by the time she was 15! The fame was too much, too soon.


Sometimes students say to me, “Teacher, I love your class too much!” This is NOT a good thing to say! Too much is a negative expression. It’s better to say, “I like your class a lot” or “I really like your class!


With a plural noun, use too many:

too many + plural noun

Is it possible to have too many friends?

She’s fooled me one too many times.

How many TVs are too many?

There are way too many cars on the road.

My son is so spoiled. He has far too many toys!

I’m being pulled in too many directions!


7. Special sentence structure with too:

too + adjective + infintive (to do something)

This structure is used to explain why someone can’t do something.

I’m too tired to go out tonight.

This soup is too hot to eat.

She is too young to drive a car!

This box is too heavy to carry.

I don’t want to go to bed yet! It’s too early (to go to bed).

We’re far too young to get married.

It’s too dangerous to walk around this neighbourhood at night.

There’s no use getting upset. It’s too late to do anything about it now.

It’s too good to be true!

I can’t go to her party tonight, I have too much work to do!

The house was too expensive to buy.

Her offer was too good to refuse.


Adverbs can also be used:

She drove too slowly to arrive on time.

We got home too late to see the beginning of the TV show.

Too many and too much can also be used:

There were too many people at the picnic to count.

I had too much work to do yesterday.


8. Another special sentence structure with too:

too + adjective + for someone/something (+ infinitive)

This sweater is too big for me to wear.

We can’t go on this roller coaster. Alice is too short for this ride!

I’m too old for dolls! = I’m too old to play with dolls!

This box is too heavy for me to carry.


Do you have more questions about so and too as adverbs and intensifiers? Let me know in the comments below!

Use of Very and too


Welcome to Teaching you English through two-minute lessons.

In this lesson we will tell you how to make use of very and too in your conversation.

At exam hall

Luna: I am too scared to sit in the exam today.

Michael: I don’t think it will be very tough.

Luna: Well, I want to give it next week.

Michael: You can tell the coordinator you are not prepared enough.

Luna: Yes, but she is very strict. I don’t think she will give me an extension.

At a restaurant

Luna: The best thing is that this restaurant is not very expensive.

Michael: Yes, I like this place. They make very good coffee.

Luna: I am not going to drink coffee today. It’s too hot to drink coffee.

Michael: You could drink cold coffee then.

Luna: That’s a very good idea. I will have cold coffee.

Michael: Excellent! I will have cold coffee too.

Inviting for a party

Michael: I am going to a party on new year’s. What’s your plan?

Luna: Oh gosh! I love to party. Can I come too?

Michael: Sure you can! It’s at a friend’s place. I will tell her I am bringing a friend too.

Luna: Thank you very much. You are too nice.

Michael: Hey! It’s alright. I will have more fun with you there.

At stationary store

Michael: Hello, I am looking to buy some pens and some notebooks too.

George : Do you want an ink-pen or a ball pen?

Michael: Ink pens are too messy. I will take the ball pen please.

George : Okay. And what about the notebook? Will a thin one do?

Michael: No, I need a very thick notebook for college. I make a lot of notes.

George : Alright. I will get you a ball pen and a very thick notebook too.

Michael: Thank you very much.

At the office

Michael: George, did you complete the presentation I assigned you yesterday?

George : Yes I did, but I had to work very hard. I had to stay up till 12.

Michael: Really? That’s too bad. I didn’t know it would take that long.

George : No problems. I like to meet the deadlines if I can.

Michael: Yes, you’re a great worker, but I think you work too hard.

George : Maybe, but I guess somebody has to get the job done.

Michael: Thank you very much George. I appreciate it.


I am too scared to sit in the exam today.

Do you want an ink-pen or a ball pen?

Oh gosh! I love to party. Can I come too?

The best thing is that this restaurant is not very expensive.

Did you complete the presentation I assigned you yesterday?

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