“So” or “too”? Know the difference and why it matters!

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One of the most common problems I hear with my students every day is the misuse of “so” or “too.” 

 

Wow, this is so much food!

or

Wow, this is too much food!

 

Do you know the difference?

 

Actually, changing that one adverb can make a neutral sentence a negative one. Let me explain 🙂

 

SO

meaning: to such a great extent.


I drank so much coffee yesterday!
= I drank a lot of coffee yesterday!
= I drank a great amount of coffee yesterday!


She speaks so quickly.
= She speaks very quickly.
= She speaks at a quick speed.

 

TOO

meaning: more than is desirable, permissible, or possible; excessively.


I drank too much coffee yesterday!
= I drank more coffee than I should have yesterday!
= I drank an unnecessary amount of coffee yesterday.


She speaks too quickly.
= She speaks excessively fast; I can’t understand her.
= She speaks at a quick speed that isn’t understandable.

 

As you can see, using “so” in a sentence just emphasizes the extent of the adjective you are describing (I drank SO much coffee). But using “too” actually means that it is more than necessary (I drank TOO much coffee). What are some examples in your daily life when you use “so” and “too”?

 

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