More words that sound alike and are misused are "to," "two," and "too." And while we're at it, even though we've never seen anyone accidentally use this one, let's throw in "tu-tu" also!
After this quick lesson, you'll never misuse the words again!
This is a number. The number 2. This is 1+1, 2+0, 4-2, 17-15, or whatever you want it to be. It's a number, only a number, and should only be used when you are referring to a number.
Example: By the time the child was two, he could feed himself, bathe himself, and change himself.
This word means "also." If you have written "too," check to see that if you replaced it with "also" if it would still make sense. If it does, then you used it correctly! In addition to meaning also, it can also be a nice way of saying "an excess of" (meaning - too many.)
Example: I wish I had won the lottery too!
In this example, "too" can be replaced with "also" and still makes sense.
Example: Too much food and too little excercise can lead to cardiovascular problems.
In this example, we can replace each "too" with "an excess of" and it makes sense. (Although "an excess of little excercise" is not how many people speak or write, it is the correct usage of "too.")
If all else fails (the word you want to use is not a number, and does not mean "also" or "an excess of"), then by default, you use the word "to." But why?
To is a preposition that can infer numerous meanings; it can suggest movement (I moved from New York to California), a relationship to time (It is ten minutes to five o'clock), as an attachment to action (Dance to the music), a range or extent (He was generous to a fault. The temperatures tomorrow will be 70 to 80 degrees), and more.
If it seems like you're using the word to in order to "connect" parts of a sentence, you're most likely using it correctly!
A tutu (pronounced "to-to" or "two-two" or "too-too") is a short skirt that is worn by ballerinas. This has nothing to do with to, two, or too. But it sounds similar!
That was too much learning about how to use two...no three different words that sound exactly alike! Go and check out another Writing Topic in the Writing Lesson Center!