English language like all other languages has its tricky parts as well. Today we have the case of “To, Too and Two”. Now, the first thing we notice is that all the words in the series sound the same when pronounced but all of them are spelled differently. This phenomenon has a name, “Homophones”.
What exactly are Homophones?
Before we move on to the case of “To, Too and Two” lets understand the term “Homophones”. Homophones are those words which sound same but have entirely different meanings. Also these words are spelled differently. The numbers of words which sound the same and are spelled differently vary for different sets of homophones.
Here are a few examples:
- Flower and Flour
- To, Too and Two
- Son and Sum
- Steel and Steal
- Tale and Tail
The Peculiar Case of “To, Too and Two”
Using the above mentioned series may prove to be tricky, but here is an easy way to overcome this confusion.
The Usage of To:
The word “to” has only two uses or two functions. The first function is that it can be used exactly before a noun in a sentence. And the second function is that the word “to” can be used as the “to-infinitive”. Infinitives are only used to express feelings and emotions.
- I am going to the market. (used before noun)
- I will walk to the train station. (used before noun)
- I love to read. (used as an infinitive)
The Usage of Too:
As the word before, “Too” has two functions as well. The first one is that the word “Too” is used in place of using the word “also”. This is to say that the word “too” is used as a synonym for “also”. The second function is that this word is used to express the excess of something. The something can be anything a feeling or some material object.
- Am I supposed to go too? (Too is used as a synonym)
- Would you like some coffee too? (Too is used as a synonym)
- I have had too much to eat! (Too here denotes excess of something)
The Usage of Two:
The word “Two” only means one thing, the numerical value of the number 2. In simple words the word “two” will mean that there is a couple of whatever subject we are talking about. This makes it the easiest of the lot to understand.
- I will have two ice creams today!
- I had two pencils in my pencil case.
- She hid two burgers under the table.
- To is either used before a noun or as an infinitive.
- Too is either used as a replacement for “also” or to express excess of something.
- Two is used to denote the value of “2” in a sentence.