What's the difference between Very and Too?

- QQEnglish Grammar

Very Vs. Too

A number of students consider these adverbs the same but did you know that these words have different meanings? In English grammar, the words “very” and “too” are adverbs. They also have the power to intensify the meaning of an adjective or an adverb. However, the major difference between these two intensifiers is that “very” does not have a negative meaning compared to the word “too”.

The definition of Very and Too

We use “very” to add emphasis to an adjective or adverb; to a great degree or extremely.

However, we use “too” to mean that more than is needed or wanted; more than is suitable or enough.

Comparison of Very and Too

Grammatically, both adverbs express the same thought, it is still best to compare them by using them in sentences.  Check these sentences and find out the grammatical difference between these two words.

• The training was “very” tough.

• The training was “too” tough.

If your friend says the training was “very” tough, he means that the training was challenging but he/she was still able to do it. However, if your friend says the training was “too” tough, it conveys a message that he/she worries about the possibility of failing.

• The dress is “very” pricey.

• The dress is “too” pricey

If the dress is “very” expensive, it means that the dress is kind of costly but you can still buy it if you save up for it. However, if the dress is “too” expensive, it expresses the idea that the price will cost you a lot of money and that buying it is impractical.

• The accident I saw on the road was “very” frightening.

• The accident I saw on the road was “too” frightening.

While accidents are scary for some of us, there is still a difference between the two sentences above. When we say “very frightening”, we mean that it’s scary or frightening but if we say “too” frightening, then you suggest that it causes you trauma and nightmares.


To sum things up, both the words mean a lot, really or extremely, but they are used in different situations. We use “very” to express that something is simply of a big amount.  But we use “too” to express a negative meaning of having too much of something.

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