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Two Too Many: Confusing the Homophones of “To”

The English language can be confusing  Рto say the least. There are many rules to remember, but there are exceptions to almost all those rules.

One of the most trouble-making groups of words are homophones: words that sound (phone) the same (homo) but have different meanings. To add more confusion, they may or may not be spelled differently. Who among us hasn’t inadvertently used one of these words wrong a time or two in our lives?¬† Let’s take a look at the correct ways we should be using to, too, and two.

  1. To – (proposition) – denoting direction; (infinitive) – verb in its base form.
  2. Too – (adverb) – excessively, overly, extremely; in addition. Hint: Think “extra” like the extra “o.”
  3. Two – (adjective) – the number or quantity; (noun) – a pair, duo, or duet.
  • 1st Honorable mention: “tu,” the French familiar form of you. Technically it’s not pronounced with the long “oo” sound, but we’re Americans. Who said high school French wouldn’t come in handy?
  • 2nd Honorable mention: tutu – (noun) – a ballerina’s skirt or article of clothing.

Let’s try a fun-filled paragraph using the various forms of the homophones.

I went to the store to get groceries. Although the guacamole cost too much, I bought it anyway. I picked up the overpriced hummus and pita chips too. On my way to the car, I saw two girls dressed in tutus. They looked so adorable! I couldn’t resist waving to them, and the two waved back to me.