Word Choice – To Versus Too

BizWritingTip reader: “When do you use `to’ or ‘too?’ ”

BizWritingTip response: Using “too” when it should be “to” is a common mistake today particularly among email writers who don’t always check what they have written.?“To” is one of the more widely used words in the English language, and it has many purposes and definitions. Most often, you see it as part of infinitive verb phrases, such as in “to write” or “to sell.”


I would like you to return the file tomorrow.

It is important to proofread carefully.

Note: The word “to” is normally omitted after the words to see and to help.


I need you to help me welcome the new members. (Don’t write: I need you to help me to welcome the new members.)

I would like you to see him. (Don’t write: I would like you to see to him.)

“To” is also used to imply movement or position in time or space.


Let’s go to the conference.?To this day, I have trouble remembering her name.?The meeting will last from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Too,” on the other hand, means “in addition,” “also,” or “to an excessive degree.”


I want to go too. (I want to go also.)?You are too busy to take on the new project. (You are excessively busy.)

We aren’t too happy with the low sales. (We aren’t very happy.)

When in doubt, use “to,” but remember that if you want to indicate “in addition” or “to an excessive degree,” use “too.”