English is a language that is spoken all around the world and it contains an infinite vocabulary. Even if we try to know all the words and how and where to use them, we cannot know about them all. There are several words which mean the same thing but are used in different ways. ‘Also’ and ‘too’ are two such words.
One cannot help but be put in a dilemma when such a situation arises where we are to use one of them. To avoid confusion we must know that the main difference between ‘also’ and ‘too’ is that ‘also’ is usually used at the beginning of a sentence, while ‘too’ is usually used at the end.
The placement of the words ‘also’ and ‘too’ determine the correctness of a sentence. For example, “Elena also plays cricket.” is a correct sentence. But “Elena plays cricket also.” is an incorrect way to use the words ‘also’.
Similarly, “Emily plays basketball too.” has the correct placement of the word ‘too’. But in this case “Emily too, plays basketball.” is also correct.
Comparison Table Between ‘Also’ and ‘Too’
|Parameters of Comparison||Also||Too|
|Usage||Is usually used before the verb in the sentence.||Is usually placed at the end of a clause in a sentence.|
|Meaning||Only means ‘in addition to’ or ‘as well’.||In addition to meaning ‘as well’, it can also mean ‘excessive’ or ‘too much’.|
|Interchangeability||Also can be replaced by too.||Too cannot always be replaced by also.|
|Type of sentence||Usually used in positive statements.||Used in both negative and positive statements.|
|The tone of the sentence||It is usually used in formal sentences.||It is used in informal sentences.|
What is ‘Also’?
‘Also’ is an adverb that has been around since the Old English was spoken. It means ‘additionally’ or ‘alongside’. It is often used next to a verb in a sentence. It can also be positioned after a helping verb.
‘Also’ is put close to the word that you want to highlight in a sentence. ‘Also’ is also used to indicate that you need to add information to what you have previously said. The placement of ‘also’ in a sentence determines what you want it to mean.
‘Also’ is used formally which reflects in real situations. Written language observes more usage of ‘also’ than spoken. When we used ‘also’ at the beginning of a sentence, it signifies the depth of the situation. It emphasizes a point.
In the sentences given below:
- “I have also decided to take up gardening as a hobby.”
- “I am leaving. Also, I am taking my belongings with me.”
Both sentences are correct. The second sentence, however, is divided into two parts. If the first part is removed, the point of the statement ceases to exist. Hence it is necessary to use ‘also’ to give weight to a point.
What is ‘Too’?
‘Too’ is also an adverb. It means ‘in addition to’ or ‘a more than required amount’. It has also been developed from Old English and is a stressed form of ‘to’. It originated around the 16th century and started being used after that.
It is used before adjectives and adverbs to indicate that something is more the required normal. It usually appears after the subject and points towards its qualities. A modal or an auxiliary verb is not usually followed by ‘too’.
‘Too’ is a very flexible word and can be used in several phrases like ‘too much’, ‘too few’, etc. It is used frequently in verbal conversations and is considered to be more on the informal side. It is often confused with ‘to’ and ‘two’.
Some examples of the usage of ‘too’ are:
- “I, too, am your daughter.”
- “I’m too tired to go outside.”
- “You can join us too.”
In all the three sentences ‘too’ is used in different ways. In the first sentence it emphasizes a point. Furthermore, using ‘too’ just after the subject increases the formality of the sentence. In the second sentence it tells us the extent of something and in the third sentence, ‘too’ means ‘as well’.
Main Differences Between ‘Also’ and ‘Too’
- ‘Also’ is often used before the verb while ‘too’ is placed at the end of the clause in a sentence.
- ‘Also’ has only one meaning while the word ‘too’ can have multiple different meanings like ‘alongside’ as well as ‘excess of’.
- ‘Also’ is used more formally than ‘too’.
- ‘Also’ is mainly used positively in a sentence while ‘too’ is used negatively too.
- ‘Also’ can be replaced by ‘too’ in a sentence, but it is not always the case with ‘too’.
‘Also’ and ‘too’ are the most used adverbs in the English language. While they do have the same meanings, they cannot always be used in the place of the other. For example, “I miss you too.” is grammatically correct but “I miss you also.” is not.
The adverbs in question are often misinterpreted and used falsely. Keeping in mind some subtleties, it can surely be avoided. This can be of big help when you have to write formally.
There are a plethora of things you can get to know about the English language but your knowledge might remain incomplete. So the best solution resides in doing a great deal of practice. With regular practice, you will start recognising the patterns in the language and start applying it.
Grammar is a very tricky thing in general but the combined force of grammar, as well as vocabulary, can be a punch to the gut sometimes. Although it is a bit difficult to understand, once you get the hang of it, it comes to you naturally.