To Short or Too Short? Grammar Explained (Helpful Examples)

It’s surprisingly common to see “to” and “too” spelled incorrectly. People will often confuse one with the other, but this shouldn’t happen because they differ in meaning. This article will show you how “too” works best when modifying adjectives (like in “too short”).

Is It To Short or Too Short?

“Too short” is the correct form. You should use it because “too” modifies “short” to add more to the meaning. “To short” does not work because “to” is not capable of modifying an adjective. It is a preposition rather than an adverb like “too.”

to or too short

These examples should identify the key differences to help you remember that “too” works:

  • Correct: He’s clearly too short! I don’t even have to get my tape measure out!
  • Incorrect: I’m to short to see over this ledge!

Only use “too” because it’s an adverbial form. Adverbs are always there to help you modify an adjective appropriately.

“To” is not an adverb. It’s a preposition, which should be all you need to know to remember it doesn’t work. While “to” is a common word in other contexts, it never applies when trying to modify the meaning of “short.”

To Short

“To short” never works, and you should avoid using it to modify the adjective. “To” is a preposition, and you cannot use prepositions when modifying the meaning of “short” (or any adjective).

  • Correct: He’s definitely too short for me! I’m not saying that I only date tall guys, but it helps me to make my decision at the very least.
  • Incorrect: Do you think I’m still to short to ride the fun coasters? I thought I did a lot of growing in this last year!
  • Correct: Aren’t you a bit too short to be wearing clothes like that? I don’t think it looks very good on you at all.
  • Incorrect: She’s to short for her own good! She literally cannot reach a single one of the cupboards above the counter in the kitchen.
  • Correct: You’re too short! There’s nothing wrong with it specifically, but it means you won’t be very good at playing basketball.
  • Incorrect: Why do you think I’m to short to do this? I feel like I’ve proved that I’m worthy more times than anyone else!

Too Short

Make sure that you’re only using “too short” to emphasize the meaning of the adjective. “Too” is an adverb that can be used to emphasize adjectives like “short.” It works when someone or something is so short that they aren’t able to reach something.

  1. You’re way too short for this ride, mate! I’m sorry, but it wouldn’t be safe for me to let you on here without growing a few inches.
  2. My dog is too short for his breed. I think he’s been bred with something that I haven’t been told about.
  3. Does this dress make me look too short? I don’t know how, but it’s managed to make me lose a few inches on top!
  4. You’re too short for me to take seriously. I can’t understand it, but it seems like you stopped growing when you hit ten!
  5. That elephant is a bit too short, don’t you think? Apparently, it’s fully grown, but I’m sure they’re supposed to get bigger than that!

Why Do People Tend To Spell It Wrong?

“To” and “too” are one of the most common words to misspell in English. It happens so much because of how similar they sound. While “too” has an extra letter, the two words are identical when said aloud. Only writing them down identifies the difference.

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

Since only “too” is the correct spelling, it would help to know a tip to remember that.

“Too” means “an excessive amount” when used as an adverb to modify an adjective. “Too” contains “an excessive amount” of “O’s” when compared to the preposition “to.” The double “O” spelling is the only way to use the adverb form, so this tip helps to remember that!

Final Thoughts

“Too short” is the only way for you to write this phrase. It works because “too” is the appropriate modifier when it comes to adjectives like “short.” “Too short” is an emphasized way of saying “short.” “To short” does not work in the same way because “to” cannot modify “short.”

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