For many students, one of the most difficult parts of learning English is the pronunciation. It is not a phonetic language, which means we can’t simply look at a word we’ve never seen before and know how to pronounce it. This becomes especially complicated when it comes to homophones, which are words that are pronounced exactly the same but have different meanings. Consider the following three words:

– two
– to
– too

 

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All three words are prounced in the same way, but they have different meanings and are used in different situations. Let’s discuss them here so that we never feel confused when using these three words ever again.

We’ll take care of the easiest one first, the word ‘two.’ This word refers to the number between one and three. For example, if you have one mother and one father, that means you have two parents. If Messi scores one goal in the first half and one goal in the second half, that means he’s scored two goals (NOT ‘to goals’ or ‘too goals’).

The next word we’ll be talking about is ‘too.’ This is an adverb that has two different meanings. The first is the same as the word ‘also.’ For example:

– It’s not only quick, but it’s easy too.
– It’s not only quick, but it’s easy too.

 

You can also use the word ‘too’ to mean that something is at a higher degree than what you would like; in other words, something that’s excessive. We put it in front of an adjective or an adverb in this case. For example:

– If it’s a 50 kph zone and you’re driving at 90 kph, you’re going too fast.
– I can’t afford a Ferrari because it’s too expensive.

 

The last homophone is ‘to.’ This word can be used as either a preposition or an infinitive marker. As a preposition, it has a similar meaning to ‘toward,’ which expresses motion in the direction of somewhere. Let’s see some examples:

As mentioned above, the word ‘to’ can also be used as an infinitive marker. This means that it’s there to indicate that the verb immediately after it is in the infinitive. Remember that when a verb is immediately followed by another verb, the second verb must be in either the infinitive or the gerund. Let’s look at some infinitive examples to see this use of ‘to’ in action:And that’s that! Now try your hand at the exercise to practice what you’ve learned.

A. Edstrom
 

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