Learning English: When to use "too" and when to use "very"

With English learners, the words too and very are frequently misused.

The following are two simple dialogues which will help you understand the difference.

Pretend you are shopping in an English speaking country, and have $300 to spend.

Dialogue 1 - Very

You: "How much is that beautiful dress?"
Shop assistant: "Yes, it is nice, isn't it? That dress costs $249."
You: "Oh! It's very expensive. But I really like it, so I'll buy it."

Dialogue 2 - Too

You: "How much is that beautiful dress?"
Shop assistant: "It's $360."
You: "Oh no. I really like it, but I cannot afford it as I don't have enough money. I only have $300. Unfortunately, it's too expensive."

The point

When you use too it means there is a problem. Usually you are not able to do something. Examples:

  • "The 11pm movie is too late. I can't watch it, as I have to be in be bed by 10pm."
  • "That restaurant is too expensive, because a meal for two costs $150."
  • "You are too late. The tickets are all sold out."

Very, in contrast, is used for emphasis.

  • "That house for sale is in a very desirable neighborhood."
  • "You did a very good job on your exam."
  • "My wife is very smart."

Keep these pointers in mind should you ever make the mistake to interchange too and very in your own English conversation!





2 juillet 2016
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*** August discount now available! *** Low cost lesson prices! (limited time offer / read below) Originally from New Zealand, I now live in Istanbul, Turkey with my wife Hanife and our two cats :) As a native speaker, I have over 10 years experience helping learners to: . speak fluently . get a great exam score . speaking powerfully in business . deliver engaging presentations . feel comfortable making social chit-chat My students say that my lessons are fun and informative. I like to keep things relaxed and at the same time, make sure some real learning takes place. *Why are my prices so cheap? I'm new to Verbling. To build up my lesson numbers, I've dramatically reduced my lesson prices. This is a limited-time offer. Take advantage of it now! I suggest that you arrange a trial lesson and we can create a plan for your future English success! Looking forward to meeting you ;)
Flag
Anglais
globe
Nouvelle-Zélande
time
141
Parle:
Anglais
Langue maternelle
,
Turc
B1
,
Suédois
A2
*** August discount now available! *** Low cost lesson prices! (limited time offer / read below) Originally from New Zealand, I now live in Istanbul, Turkey with my wife Hanife and our two cats :) As a native speaker, I have over 10 years experience helping learners to: . speak fluently . get a great exam score . speaking powerfully in business . deliver engaging presentations . feel comfortable making social chit-chat My students say that my lessons are fun and informative. I like to keep things relaxed and at the same time, make sure some real learning takes place. *Why are my prices so cheap? I'm new to Verbling. To build up my lesson numbers, I've dramatically reduced my lesson prices. This is a limited-time offer. Take advantage of it now! I suggest that you arrange a trial lesson and we can create a plan for your future English success! Looking forward to meeting you ;)
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