Very vs. Too

Very means ‘to a great degree’. It is used with an adjective or another adverb in the positive degree.

  • He is very nice.
  • He is a very nice boy.
  • He did it very nicely.
  • It is very cold.
  • She is very beautiful.
  • He wrote very well/carefully/quickly.

Very can be used with a present participle used as an adjective.

  • It is a very amusing story.
  • It is very interesting.

When used with a superlative or ‘own’, very means ‘in the highest degree’ or ‘absolutely’.

  • This tea is of the very best quality.
  • She is the very best dancer here.

Very is quite common before much.

  • I like your new dress very much.
  • I am very much obliged to you.
  • Thank you very much.

Too and very

Too does not mean the same as veryToo means ‘more than enough’, ‘more than necessary’ or ‘more than wanted’. Very, on the other hand, has a positive meaning.

Compare:

  • It was very cold, but we went out.
  • It was too cold to go out, so we stayed at home.

However, in an informal style, too can sometimes be used to mean ‘very’.

  • Oh, that is really too kind of you – thank you so much.

Very with superlatives

Very can emphasize superlatives and words like first, last and next.

  • They were all sporting their very best clothes.
  • This is your very last chance, so don’t just throw it away.
  • You are the very first person I have seen today
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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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