Comma with "Too"

by Craig Shrives

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Using a Comma with "Too"

When "too" means "as well" or "also," it can be offset with a comma (or commas) to create a pause or to provide emphasis.
  • I can do it, too.
  • (The comma before "too" provides emphasis. The comma is not essential. Most of the time, "too" will not be offset with a comma.)
Using a comma before "too" at the end of sentence is more common in the US than in the UK. In the US, the comma is added due to habit. In the UK, the comma tends to be added for emphasis.

More about Using Comma before "Too"

Some writers always offset "too" with a comma (or two commas if it's mid-sentence). There is no need. "Too" is a normal adverb. It has no special status that demands commas. Nevertheless, using commas with "too" is a recognized literary technique to provide some emphasis or a brief pause. However, it is worth reiterating that - from a grammatical perspective - there is no requirement to use a comma (or commas) with "too." For example:
  • I passed the exam too.
  • She too is expected to pass the exam.
Nevertheless, using commas is a way for writers to control reading flow and to provide emphasis, which can often be appropriate with "too" when it means "also" or "as well." For example:
  • I passed the exam, too.
  • (The comma before "too" provides emphasis.)
  • She, too, is expected to pass the exam.
  • (The commas with "too" provide emphasis and a pause.)

What Part of Speech Is "Too"?

When "too" means "also" or "as well," it is an adverb. When "too" means "excessively," it is also an adverb.

Example sentences with "too" meaning "also" or "as well":
  • I have been there too.
  • (This means "I have been there as well." Notice there is no comma before "too" in this example. It is not mandatory to use a comma before "too.")
  • The gods, too, are fond of a joke. (Greek philosopher Aristotle)
  • (The gods are also fond of a joke. It is possible, for emphasis, to offset "too" with commas.)
Example sentences with "too" meaning "excessively":
  • I drove too quickly.
  • (In this example, the adverb "too" modifies the adverb "quickly." You cannot use commas with "too" in this meaning.)
  • My dog is still, too, chubby.

Beware

You cannot use "to" for "also," "as well," or "excessively."
  • We went there, to.
Here is another wrong example. It is from an advice column in a newspaper:
  • (This is wrong. It should be "too.")
Read more about the difference between "to" and "too."

Summary of "To" and "Too"

This infographic summarizes the different uses of "to" and "too":

to or too?

An Example with All Versions of "Too" and "To"

Here is an example featuring both versions of "to" and both versions of "too":
  • He wrote "Life is too short to drink cheap beer" on the wall and then drove to the tattoo artist, who wrote it on his back too.
In this example, we have:

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See Also

To (infinitive verb) and too To and too (meaning in excess) To (preposition) and too

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