Notes by Autumn Light

On Hebrew, English, translation, editing, and more—by Jonathan Orr-Stav

How can you distinguish between ‘two’, ‘to’, or ‘too’?


Apart from the context (which is the biggest clue), there is slight, but detectable difference in length:

  • to is the shortest. If one were to illustrate it graphically, the phrase To be, or not to be, the word to would be the hyphens:

    —, – /

  • two is noticeably longer. Thus, the sentence
    Each state is entitled to two senators looks like this:

    — — – √\ – — /\_

  • too is as long as two, and essentially sounds the same—but appears either at the end of a sentence, e.g.:
    Itsy, and Bitsy, and Ira, too

     /`, – /`, – /`,

    or between two noticeable pauses, e.g.:
    I, too, believe that:

    ˆ, , √ –

In addition, there is a noticeable trend (particularly in British English) to pronounce the word to as /tuh/—while two and too are always /tu/.


(Originally written in reply to a question at


Author: יונתן אור-סתיו | Jonathan Orr-Stav

Hebrew-English translator, editor, author. מתרגם עברית–אנגלית, עורך באנגלית, וסופר.

3 thoughts on “How can you distinguish between ‘two’, ‘to’, or ‘too’?

  1. for some people this is true, not others. there is no sound difference between two and too.


  2. Pingback: How can you distinguish between ‘two’, ‘to’, or ‘too’? by יונתן אור-סתיו | Jonathan Orr-Stav – Notes by Autumn Light | Talmidimblogging

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