Either vs. Too

You might have seen these two commonly-used words a lot. Each of them has its uses, similarities, and differences.

"Either" vs. "Too" in the English Grammar

What Are Their Main Differences?

These two words are similar in many ways, but they are used in different environments. The first and main difference between 'either' and 'too' is that 'either' is used with negative verbs, while 'too' is used with affirmative verbs. Also, they are different in their grammatical functions.


Grammatical Functions

  • 'Either':
  1. Determiner
  2. Pronoun
  3. Adverb
  4. Conjunction

As a determiner, 'either' is used before singular nouns to define them. As a pronoun, it is used directly before the verb with no nouns afterward. As an adverb, 'either' is used to agree on a negative statement. As a conjunction, it is used to connect two clauses and it is usually followed by 'or.'

Either murderer is trying to ditch the police. → determiner

"Which color should I paint the walls?" "Either is beautiful." → pronoun

I didn't call Katherine, Sara didn't either. → adverb

Either the white or the red meat does not taste good.

  • 'Too':
  1. Adverb

'Too' can be an adverb, before another adverb or adjective to intensify them, but it can also come at the end of the sentence to say that it is also true for something else. Look at the following examples.

The weather is too cold outside. → adverb (intensifier)

I have the best taste in seafoods and my friend does too. → adverb

Too as an Adverb of Degree

'Too' can be an adverb of degree which is not our main purpose in this article. However, you should know that it is used before adjectives and other adverbs to intensify them and it means 'very.'

It was too typical of the latecomer to conceal the real cause of her lateness.

Several layers of thin clothing are too essential to keep you warm in frigid weather.

Too in Formal Speech

Sometimes in formal speech 'too' comes after the subject between two commas and it is used to say something special is true for the subject too.

They, too, went to New York to get to the wedding in time.

The annual convention of musicians, too, takes place in Hollywood.


Be careful about the spelling rules of 'too.' It is sometimes confused with the terms 'to' and 'two.'

Verbs That Follow Either and Too

As is mentioned at the beginning of the article, the main difference between 'either' and 'too' is in the verb that is used in the sentence.

  • 'Too':

is used in sentences including affirmative verbs.

My dad dislikes my boyfriend and my mother does too.

  • 'Either':

is used in sentences including negative verbs.

He isn't extroverted and I am not either.


How They Are Placed in a Sentence

  • 'Either' and 'too' both are placed at the end of the sentence.

My friend seems beautiful and her mother does too.

Our car is not comfortable and our uncle's car isn't either.

What They Are Used for

  • 'Either' and 'too' both agree on a statement being mentioned earlier. In other words, they are used as a sign of agreement.

Cats are cute and dogs are cute too.

Her sister isn't tall and her mother isn't tall either.

How They Shorten the Sentence

  • As you might have noticed in the previous examples 'either' and 'too' both can shorten the sentence. One can avoid repeating the agreeing sentence by using 'either' and 'too.'

"I hate Harry." "Me too" = "I hate him too."

Another answer → "I do too."= "I hate him too."

"He didn't bring the keys." "Me either." = "I didn't bring the keys either."

Note that using 'me either' is informal.

Another answer → "I didn't either." = "I didn't bring the keys either."

How They are Synonyms

  • As an adverb, both 'either' and 'too' have the same meaning. They are used to agree on something that has been mentioned earlier about someone or something else.

He likes pepperoni pizza, and I like it too.

My sister doesn't eat meat, and I don't either.


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