The Adverb "Too" (Meaning "As Well") Attracts Commas

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The Quick Answer
"Too" is an adverb. 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 though. Most of the time, "too" will not be offset with a comma.)

"Too" Meaning "Also" or "As Well"

Occasionally, there is confusion over the words "too" and "to." The word "too" has two uses. The one covered on this page is the use of "too" meaning "as well" or "also."

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

Examples of "Too" Meaning "Also" or "As Well"

Here are some examples of "too" meaning "also" or "as well":
  • I have been there too.
  • (I have been there "as well." / I have "also" been there.)
  • Can she take one too?
  • (Can she take one "as well"? / Can she "also" take one?)
  • The gods too are fond of a joke. (Greek philosopher Aristotle)
  • (The gods "as well" are fond of a joke. / The gods "also" are fond of a joke.)
Here is a wrong example. It is from an advice column in a newspaper:
  • (This is wrong. It should be "too.")

What Part of Speech Is "Too"?

"Too" is an adverb. For example:
  • I passed the exam too.
  • (In this example, the adverb "too" modifies the verb "passed.")
  • I passed the exam easily.
  • (In this example, "easily" modifies "passed." This example has been included to help show that "too" is an adverb. The structure of these two examples is identical.)
"Too" meaning very or extremely (with the idea of "in excess") is also an adverb. For example:
  • I drove too quickly.
  • (In this example, the adverb "too" modifies the adverb "quickly.")
  • I drove extremely quickly.
  • (In this example, "extremely" modifies "quickly." This example has been included to help show that "too" is an adverb. The structure of these two examples is identical.)

Is There a 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. But, 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.)

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:
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

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