Posted by: Idioma Extra | April 27, 2011

Thursday Tidbit

Too or Very?

Too and very have similar meanings in the sense that they are used to describe a lot of something. However, there is a slight difference between the two that English learners often get confused. Let’s look at the difference.


Very is used when describing a lot of something. When using very, it doesn’t imply any type of outcome. It is used to simply express a fact or opinion.  Here are some examples:

He is very sick.

They were very nervous about the test.

My father is very old.

The economy recovered very slowly.


On the other hand, too is generally used when there is a negative result of the fact or opinion. Look at the following examples:

He felt too sick. He couldn’t go to work.

They were too nervous about the test. They couldn’t concentrate.

My father is too old. He can’t drive any more.

The economy is recovering too slowly. Many small businesses are closing.

Check yourself

Look at the following examples and underline either too or very based on the context.

1. The students were (very / too) nervous about the test, but they were prepared.

2. This computer is (very / too) slow. I won’t finish my work on time.

3. The barber cut my hair (very / too) short. I don’t like it.

4. They waited (very / too) long to finish the homework. The teacher won’t accept it anymore.

5. The soup is (very / too) hot, but you can still eat it.

6. My car is (very / too) old. However , there are some people interested in buying it.

7. I am (very / too) tired. I don’t think I’m going to work today.

8. The car is (very / too) expensive. I don’t have enough money to buy it.

9. The speech was (very / too) long, but it was interesting.

10. The house is (very / too) old. Not many people are interested in buying it.

Answers to last week’s Check Yourself:

1. They always go to the park. They like to swim, _too___.

2. I like to go to the beach. I don’t know how to swim, __though___.

3. My co-workers are very friendly. They have a lot of experience, ___too____.

4. They didn’t go to the beach. They didn’t go to the mountains, ___either____.

5. My homework is very difficult. The other students are having problems, ___too___.

6. I hurt my arm playing basketball. I didn’t go to the hospital, ___though___.

7. He never gives money to strangers. He doesn’t speak to them,   either__.

8. She starts work early. She doesn’t work late, ___though___.

9. He can’t find a job. It’s difficult to pay the rent, __too____.

10. They never take a vacation. They never leave the house, ___either___.



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