Many writers get tripped up with similar words such as to & too. Especially when it comes to giving a friend a nice compliment. For example, consider the “to cute” or “too cute” grammar rules for a second. Which is the correct phrase? In this post, we’ll break down the difference between to cute and too cute.
Which is Correct: To Cute or Too Cute?
We have all been with a friend when someone says “wow, you are just too cute!” But is that grammatically correct? I’ve seen the same grammar rules in my analysis of too long or to long! Should they have said “to cute” instead”? The trick is understanding the difference between to & too. These two frequently confused words, just like “due to and do to” or even “you’re welcome vs your welcome” have their own distinct meanings.
- “Too Cute” – Too is an adverb that modifies the adjective “cute”. Basically, it means that someone or something is excessively pretty.
- “To Cute” – Not grammatically correct and should not be used in your writing.
Takeaway – “To cute” is never correct. “Too cute” means that someone or something is pretty to an excessive degree.
When To use “To Cute”
You should never use the phrase “to cute” in your writing. “To” is not a an adverb, it is a preposition. It cannot be used to modify the adjective “cute”! Although “to” & “too” are separated by just a single “o”, they have totally separate meanings. Because these two words are spelled so similarly, it is very easy to make a spelling mistake. Take the time to copy edit or proofread your writing, text message, or email so that it actually makes sense.
- Incorrect Sentence: “Oh my gosh, you are just to cute!”
- Correct Sentence: “Oh my gosh, you are just too cute!”
If you have an adjective that you want to modify something other than a noun, then you can just change it into an adverb.
When To use “Too Cute”
“Too” is an adverb that can have several meanings. In this case, it means “excessive amount”. Since “too” is an adverb, it can modify the adjective “cute”! The phrase is often used in a complete sentence to communicate that something is overly pretty. It is often used in reference to adorable puppies and kittens. Just like we saw when examining had have & have had, small spelling changes make a big difference.
- Incorrect Sentence: “I can’t believe you got a new kitten it is just to cute!”
- Correct Sentence: “I can’t believe you got a new kitten it is just too cute!”
- Correct Sentence: “The way your puppy looks at me is too cute. I feel like I need to give her whatever she wants!”
The difference between to and too is a prime example of why is proofreading important for writers!
Other Ways To Say “You’re Too Cute”
Now that you know the meaning of the phrase “too cute”, it’s time to think of some synonyms. Even seasoned writers fall into the trap of using the same words and phrases over and over again. There are many confusing phrases in the English language. I am an experienced writer and I even get confused when thinking is it roll call or role call. Here are some examples of phrases you could use in its place.
- You’re Too Adorable
- You’re Too Precious
- You’re Too Sweet
- You’re Too Lovely
- You’re Too Stinkin’ Cute (This is not prescriptive grammar & should only be used in casual conversation)
What The Difference Between To and Too?
The words “too” & “to” are spelled differently for a reason. Take the phrases “to late or too late” for example. They have totally distinct meanings and should not be used interchangeably. As a reminder, you should always use our final editing & proofreading checklist to avoid making silly spelling mistakes like this.
- “To” – The word “to” is a preposition that is used to express motion in a direction. For example, you might say “I’m going to the store.” This means that you are moving in the direction of the store. You can also use “to” to express the destination of someone or something. For example, you might say “The package was sent to my house.”
- “Too” – In its adverb form, it indicates that something is “in excess or in addition”. For example, you might say “I’m too tired to go out tonight.” In this case, you’re saying that you’re so tired that going out would be excessive.
- “Can I have too many cookies?”
- “I was going to the store, but then I realized that I left my keys at home.”
- “I have too much homework.”
- “I ate too much cake.”
- “I’m totally out of milk so I’m going to head to the grocery story this afternoon.”
What Makes This So Confusing?
This phrase is tricky because “to” and “too” are spelled almost identically. They are just one letter apart. In the modern world of sending quick DM’s, text messages, and emails it becomes all to easy to make simple typos. Writers have the same issue with the words message and massage. Pay close attention to spelling to avoid making silly mistakes.
Just like with the phrase “just incase” I love using memory tricks. The best way to remember the difference between too vs to is with this simple trick. Tricks like this make language learning easy. Think that “too” means an excessive amount. It has an excessive amount of “o’s”.
- I like to say “too” has “too” many “o’s”!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The correct phrase is you’re too cute. You’re is a contraction for “you are”. When someone says “you’re too cute,” they typically mean that you are attractive
That is not considered correct. Instead, try using the phrase “too cute not to share.“
Both can be used correctly. For example, you might say in reference to your neighbor’s dogs “they’re so cute”. You could also say “their cute dog wasn’t so cute when it bit me!”
The Bottom Line
As we just reviewed, the words to and too are very similar words that have different meanings. Remember that “too cute” is the correct phrase if you want to compliment someone on their great looks. The phrase “to cute” is grammatically incorrect and can never be used. If you can’t seem to remember the difference between to & too, then use our online spelling checker tool!