When talking about homophones, these three usually pop into your mind. The confusion between the three is not that uncommon due to their identical pronunciation. The good thing is, each one is a different part of speech, making it easier to differentiate between them.
When using the word ‘to’, it can either be a preposition (precedes a noun), or an indication that the verb to follow is an infinitive (basic form of a verb).
As a preposition:
- He is going to the store
- She went to Paris
- This book belongs to David
An infinitive (in which case it always precedes a verb):
- He is going to study
- She is going to take a vacation in Paris
- David is going to buy this book
‘To’ may sound similar to the words ‘too’ and ‘two’, but the usage can be a distinct identifier on which of the three are used.
The word ‘too’ can mean excessively when it precedes an adverb or adjective, or it can be used as a synonym for the word ‘also’.
As a synonym for ‘also’:
- Can he come too?
- He went to Paris too
- This book belongs to Sarah too
Try replacing the word ‘also’ with ‘too’ in the same sentence. If the reworded sentence still makes sense, then you are using the word correctly.
To mean excessively:
- He is too tired to go to the store
- She spent way too much in Paris
- David is reading the book too fast
The easiest one to distinguish among the three, it literally is the number ‘2’ that is spelled out. When taking the number ‘2’ out of a sentence, and replacing it with the word ‘two’, the sentence should still make sense.
To mean the number ‘2’:
- I have two hands and two eyes
- She spent two dollars on a burger
- David bought two books
The pronunciation of the three may sound exactly the same, but they are not the same in meaning and usage.
One should use the word ‘two’ in cases where the user means the number 2. ‘To’ and ‘too’ on the other hand can be a little confusing. ‘To’ is used as a preposition or as an infinitive before a verb and ‘too’ is used as a synonym for the word ‘also’ or as an indication of excessiveness before a an adjective or adverb. Looking at examples of how they are used can easily show which of the three homophones should be used in any sentence.
|Use it as a preposition or infinitive before a verb||Use it as a synonym for ‘also’ or for expressing excessiveness before an adjective or adverb||Use it as the number 2|
|I am going to school|
He likes to eat ice-cream
|That’s my school too|
It’s too early to go to school
|Two of them are going to school|
You can check this video for a fun presentation of the homophones ‘to’, ‘too’ and ‘two’.