To Expensive or Too Expensive? Grammar Explained (+Examples)

“To” and “too” are confused all the time. Spelling them can be difficult for English natives and learners alike. This article will help you understand the differences to (hopefully) make sure you don’t confuse them again.

Is It To Expensive or Too Expensive?

“Too expensive” is grammatically correct, but “to expensive” is not. You should only use “too expensive” because it’s an example of an adverb and adjective combination where the adjective’s meaning is emphasized. “To” is a preposition, which does not change the adjective’s meaning.

to or too expensive

Perhaps these examples will help you to wrap your head around it:

  • Correct: I think this is too expensive. I’ll have to consult my accounts before taking it further.
  • Incorrect: Do you think this is to expensive for his tastes? I hope he likes it!

“Too” is an adverb that can be used to modify the adjective “expensive.” It allows you to show that something is unaffordable because of the price that comes with it. “Too” always emphasizes the original meaning of the adjective it comes before.

Unfortunately, there is no way for “to” to make grammatical sense. If you’ve found yourself or someone else using it before, it simply comes down to a grammatical error.

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To Expensive

You should not use “to expensive.” It makes no sense because “to” is a preposition. It cannot be used to modify the adjective “expensive” because there is no way to add on to the meaning that “expensive” already demonstrates. Only “too” works in this situation.

  • Correct: It’s a bit too expensive. Is there any way that you might be able to bring the price down a little more to help me out?
  • Incorrect: That house is to expensive. I know you love it, but I don’t see a way for us to afford it without sacrifices.
  • Correct: Nope! Too expensive! Try and find me something that I’ll actually be able to afford next time, please!
  • Incorrect: I don’t want my wedding to be to expensive. I want all of my family to be able to attend without worrying about it.
  • Correct: Have I made this product too expensive? I’m slightly concerned about that, so I came to you for advice.
  • Incorrect: If it’s not to expensive, do you think you’ll be able to help me afford one of these new grills for my party?

Too Expensive

You should always use “too expensive.” “Too” is an emphasizing adverb used to intensify the meaning of something being “expensive.” The double “O” spelling variation is the only correct form when we are treating it as an adverb to mean “an excessive amount.”

You cannot use “to” and “too” in the same way. There are no overlapping contexts in English that make them interchangeable.

  1. This restaurant is too expensive for my liking. I’ll go somewhere else, but I definitely can’t afford any of the food here.
  2. I’m sorry, but that’s way too expensive! I don’t think I’ll be able to justify spending all that money without good reason.
  3. It’s too expensive to keep living in this house. As much as I hate to say it, I think we need to move out.
  4. You’re making it too expensive. So many people are going to be worse off if you don’t allow them to afford this anymore.
  5. The cost of living is becoming too expensive for many people. It’s getting harder to live above the poverty line!

Why Do People Tend To Spell It Wrong?

You’ll see many people spelling “to” and “too” wrong. They are not interchangeable, but it’s still common. It’s common because they sound very similar when spoken aloud. “To” and “too” are pronounced just like the number “two,” so people confuse them all the time.

How To Remember If The Correct Spelling Is “To Expensive” or “Too Expensive”

“Too” is an adverb used to emphasize an adjective. In this context, “too expensive” means that something is excessively expensive and can’t be afforded. “Too” contains two “O’s,” which is an excessive amount compared with “to.” This tip has always helped us to remember the difference.

Final Thoughts

“Too expensive” is the only way you should modify the adjective “expensive.” It works because it shows that something has been priced far too high for someone’s liking. “To expensive” is never correct because “to” is a preposition. It would need to be an adverb to make sense.

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