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!





July 1, 2016
Profile Picture
$12
$10.80
USD/h

Mark

security_checked
5.0
$12
$10.80
USD/h
Flag
English
globe
New Zealand
time
276
Speaks:
English
Native
,
Turkish
B1
,
Swedish
A2
🔷 Low cost lesson prices! (limited time offer - read below) 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. 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 🔷 Why are my prices so cheap? I'm building up my lesson numbers, so I've dramatically reduced my lesson prices by more than 50%. Please note that they may change if you have special requirements. Take advantage of the great prices 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
English
globe
New Zealand
time
276
Speaks:
English
Native
,
Turkish
B1
,
Swedish
A2
🔷 Low cost lesson prices! (limited time offer - read below) 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. 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 🔷 Why are my prices so cheap? I'm building up my lesson numbers, so I've dramatically reduced my lesson prices by more than 50%. Please note that they may change if you have special requirements. Take advantage of the great prices 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 😉
Mi vida antes del Covid- 19 (IMPERFECTO) A-2
Profile Picture
Alejandra Santiago
August 7, 2020
팔랑귀
Profile Picture
Abby H
August 7, 2020
The Origins of popular English Idioms
Profile Picture
Jen Mc Monagle
August 7, 2020