1) I have learned about "too ~ to" construction.

"He is too young to travel alone"

This sentence means that he cannot travel alone.

2) Then, what's the meaning of this sentence?

He didn't appear too thrilled to get the car.

Did he get the car? or not?
or Though he got the car, he wasn't very excited?

3) If the "too ~ to" of the second sentence is different from that of the first sentence, why is it? Why does the rule not apply to the second one?

2 Answers 2


"Too" in this sentence is being used as "very". This is one of the meanings that "too" can have in a sentence, functioning as an adverb. In this sentence, it is clear that the subject of the sentence is not very appreciative of the car - the sentence is also correct without "too", but a little less idiomatic.

  • What are you indicating by "this sentence"? You mean "He didn't appear too thrilled to get the car."?
    – Mcreaper
    Jan 16, 2020 at 20:11
  • 2
    Yes, the answer refers to sentence (2), the one you were puzzled about. (It mentions 'the car!) He got it but wasn't very excited. Jan 17, 2020 at 9:41

This usage of too is an example of understatement. It occurs only with verbs in the negative.

My mother wasn't too pleased about the mess in the kitchen.

Variants with the same meaning are to be "none too pleased" and not to be "any too pleased."

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