Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

Too and to - infinitive form of verb

The Quick Answer
The word to is used in expressions like to walk, to run, to paint, etc. (These are all verbs in their infinitive forms.)

The Word To in an Infinitive Verb

Occasionally, there is confusion over the words to and too. The word to has two uses. The one covered on this page is the use of to to show the infinitive form of a verb.

All the uses of to and too are shown in the lesson the difference between to and too.

  • There are many options to consider.
  • (to consider in its infinitive form)
  • Anthony will have to find a bottle and join the party.
  • (to find in its infinitive form)
  • I explained why I had no time too mow the lawn.
  • (should be to mow)
  • You must learn to listen more carefully.

Summary of To and Too

This infographic summarises the different uses of to and too:


Infinitive Form?

Verbs are doing words like to dance, to sit, to fly, to think. (See lesson Verbs.)

When to is in front of a verb, the verb is said to be in its infinitive form.
  • She likes to dance. (< verb to dance in its infinitive form)
  • She dances. (< verb to dance not in its infinitive form)

Split Infinitive

As explained above, the infinitive form of a verb comprises of to and the verb itself (e.g., to laugh). It is a good idea to avoid putting any words between them. This is called a split infinitive, which lots of your readers will probably consider an error. (More on that below.)
  • Our mission: to boldly go where no man has gone before.
  • (The word boldly should not appear between to and go.)
  • You have to really mean it.    
  • (The word really should not appear between to and mean.)
If rewording your sentence to avoid a split infinitive makes it sound too contrived, then just use the split infinitive. The split infinitive is not really an error at all. However, it is worth avoiding because there's a fair chance that lots of readers will think it is.)