English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Consider the following examples:

  • "And it is a bottle, too."
  • "And it is a bottle too."

Is there a semantic difference between these two sentences? Or do they mean the same thing, with or without the comma before "too"? If not, what is the correct usage of the comma in context of "too"?

share|improve this question
Related: Comma and “too”. – RegDwigнt Jan 6 '11 at 20:22
@RegDwight: I thought this was such a rare question that I didn't bother checking. Guess I've learned until next time. Thanks. ^^ – gablin Jan 6 '11 at 22:21
up vote 14 down vote accepted

According to the Chicago Manual of Style (subscription-based, sorry), you only need to use the comma before too "only when you want to emphasize an abrupt change of thought."

Here's an article that gives that quote and has other illuminating things to say on the subject: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/comma-before-too/

Edited to add example from the second link:

He didn’t know at first what hit him, but then, too, he hadn’t ever walked in a field strewn with garden rakes. In most other cases, commas with this short adverb are unnecessary.

share|improve this answer
If I remember correctly, Fowler agrees. I voted in his place. – Cerberus Jan 6 '11 at 21:23
You wouldn't have any examples to show when there's a "change of thought" and when there isn't? I'm finding it difficult to understand this. – gablin Jan 6 '11 at 22:23
Added example, which was taken from the dailywritingtips.com link. – Robusto Jan 6 '11 at 22:44
Hm, think I got it now. Thanks. – gablin Jan 7 '11 at 13:39

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.