Referring To or Too….Which Is Correct?

“Referring to” or “too” is the topic we’ll be examining in this article. Only one of these forms is accurate, and it would help to know which one is correct before you write the wrong one for the wrong situation!

Referring To or Referring Too?

“Referring to” is the proper form, and you should always avoid the use of “referring too.” The reason “referring to” works is because “to” is a preposition which permits you to set up a direction or reference based on what’s coming next in the sentence. “Too” is an adverb that can’t be used this way.

You can only use “referring to,” so here is how it works:

  • Correct: What are you referring to again? I can’t find the records anywhere.
  • Incorrect: She’s been referring too him for guidance. Although, I’m not sure why.

“Too” can’t ever work in this context because it is an adverbial form. It doesn’t allow us to set up the following part of the sentence.

However, a preposition does allow us to set up the sentence correctly. This is why “to” is the only proper choice in this case.

Referring To

“Referring to” should be the only form you use. It works because “to” is a preposition that allows you to refer to specific things or give direction to something you may be discussing.

Since “referring” lets us discuss more openly, it works well to “refer to” particular things.

  1. What issue are you referring to? I haven’t stayed in the loop with any of this, so I’m a little lost.
  2. I’m sorry, but I’m referring to the one you keep overlooking! I hope I haven’t offended you.
  3. He’s referring to the race coming up next month. Are you going to be in shape by then?
  4. I will not be referring to the apparent signs in the book that the author was struggling. Instead, I’ll be more nuanced than that.
  5. You are referring to this incident, right? I want to make sure that we’re all on the same page before moving ahead.

Referring Too

“Referring too” is not correct. There will never be a situation where “too” works when you’re referring to a distinctive thing. “Too” is a misspelling that lots of people fall for, so it’s best to get out of the habit now while you can.

  • Correct: I wasn’t referring to that mishap because I knew it was still a sensitive subject for you! Sorry about that.
  • Incorrect: She is referring too the incident that occurred last week. You should have known about it already.
  • Correct: I will be referring to this article when making my points. I hope that aids you in following along.
  • Incorrect: Aren’t you referring too the same thing as me? I thought we were both making reasonable points.
  • Correct: She is referring to our past relationship, but I can tell you that it did not go as well as we would have wanted.
  • Incorrect: I won’t stop referring too these matters until I’ve seen clear signs that you will fix them!

Why Do People Seem To Spell It Wrong?

It’s relatively common for “to” and “too” to be misspelled. If you’ve become a victim to it before, don’t worry too much! They both sound incredibly similar because they’re both pronounced like the number “two.” It isn’t until they are written down that their difference is evident.

Remembering If The Correct Spelling Is “Referring To” or “Referring Too”

Because only “referring to” makes sense, it would help to have a quick tip to remind you of this spelling.

“Too” is interchangeable with “also” and “in addition.” The best way for you to remember that “referring to” is the only accurate form is by substituting “to” with the word “also” and seeing if it works. Since “referring also the book” doesn’t make sense, you should always avoid it.

Last Thoughts

You should only ever use “referring to,” because “to” is a prepositional form that relates to things we’re talking about. “Referring too” never makes grammatical sense when followed by something you are referring to, so it’s best to avoid using it.

Related: To vs. Too


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