The adverb too

December 5, 2010pdf

Too is an adverb. It is used before adjectives without nouns and before adverbs.

  • I arrived too late.
  • You are too generous.

Too and too much

Too much cannot be used before adverbs and adjectives without nouns.

  • She is too fat. (NOT She is too much fat.)

Too with other determiners

Too is not normally used before adjective + noun.

  • I could not lift the bag because it was too heavy. (NOT I could not lift the too heavy bag.)
  • I could not solve the problem – it was too difficult. (NOT I could not solve the too difficult problem.)

Structures with too

An infinitive can be used after too + adjective / adverb.

  • It is too hot to go out.
  • He is too old to work.

If the infinitive has its own subject, it is usually introduced by for.

  • It is too early for the shops to be open.

Note that object pronouns are not normally used after the infinitive in this structure.

  • The tea is too hot to drink. (NOT The tea is too hot to drink it.)

Note that object pronouns can be used in structures with for.

  • The tea is too hot for us to drink. OR The tea is too hot for us to drink it.

Too and very

Too is different from very. Too has a negative meaning. It means ‘more than enough’ or ‘more than is wanted’.

  • She is very beautiful. (NOT She is too beautiful.)
  • He is very intelligent. (NOT He is too intelligent.)

Notes

In informal English, too is sometimes used to mean ‘very’.

  • That was too kind of you. (= That was very kind of you.)
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