1

As you know, "too" is usually placed at the end of a sentence and it refers to the subject of the sentence. So far so good.

But many times, we need to refer to other parts of sentences (eg object, verb, place etc). For instance: "James ate an apple in the car yesterday, too"

As we know, the "too" in this sentence refers to James(because it is the subject) and emphasizes that "Amongst other people who ate an apple, there was James"

But as I said, what I want to do is to refer to the other elements in this sentence; "the apple, in the car, yesterday, to eat."

So can I change the location of "too" in the sentence to refer to the other elements. For instance can I use "too" in the following ways:

1-James ate, too, an apple in the car yesterday. (I want to emphasize that James did many actions yesterday. And among those actions he did the action of "eating")

2-James ate an apple, too, in the car yesterday. (I want to emphasize that James ate many things yesterday. And among those was an "apple")

3-James ate an apple in the car, too, yesterday.(I want to emphasize that James ate an apple in another place and he ate one "in the the car")

4-James ate an apple in the car, yesterday, too.(I want to emphasize that James ate an apple other days and he did the same yesterday)

By the way, I know that in the 4th sentence, "too" would naturally refer to the subject, as it always does. And I also know that other locations of the "too" in 1, 2, 3 would not be acceptable.

So, my question is if I can't use "too" as shown in the above 1,2,3 locations, how can we use English to refer to whatever element of a sentence we would like to refer to, regardless of it being "a subject, verb, object, place, etc"

2
  • Yes you can use too that way, however, in some of your instances I would need contextual support before the meaning of the sentence became clear. For example if you said, James ate an apple, too, in the car yesterday, I would assume you meant James, too, ate an apple... Your usage in #2 would require some context.
    – EllieK
    Mar 16 at 12:16
  • 1
    ElliK thank you for the comment. I mean James who does not eat much suprisingly ate a hamburger and an apple when we were together. So, his mother asks me "Did James eat anything besides the hamburger?" And I answer "He ate an apple, too."
    – yunus
    Mar 17 at 8:36
2

You missed out "James, too, ate an apple in the car".

(1) doesn't sound right, because it's not natural to insert too in the middle of the phrase ate an apple.

All the others are valid constructions, though for some of them it's unlikely that you would need to include all the different elements in the sentence. (For instance, if you were already discussing 'what James ate yesterday'.)

6
  • I did not miss it out. I did not write it seperately, because the 4th sentence means "James, too, ate an apple in the car" because the "too" at the end of the sentence refers to the subject. Don't you think so?
    – yunus
    Mar 17 at 8:39
  • You said that you intended (4) to mean 'yesterday as well as on other days". James, too means "James, as well as other people". Mar 17 at 8:55
  • I mean; Even if put the "too" at the end of this sentence, "James ate an apple in the car, yesterday, too", the "too" cant refer to the word "yesterday, because The "too", when placed at the end of the sentence, always refers to the subject of the sentence. So, I do not know how to refer to the word "yesterday" by using "too". There seems to be place for the word "too" to refer to the word "yesterday". That is why I had to write the sentence 4 and did not write a seperate one like you suggested "James, too, ate an apple in the car". Because two sentences would mean the same.
    – yunus
    Mar 17 at 10:57
  • I'm not aware of any such rule. I would understand 'Yesterday, too' to mean 'as well as other days', and I thought that was the intended meaning of your sentence 4. Mar 17 at 11:38
  • Please see this example. A: I love you. B:I love you, too. Which element of the sentence does "too" refer to? "I" or "you".? So, as I said, "too" refers to the subject. It is clear that the subject of the sentence(A) says to B that he/she loves him/her. "A" does not mean that "he/she loves some other people including the (B)". So, "too" does not always function as it does when it is placed end of the sentence.
    – yunus
    Mar 18 at 13:25
0

When I think about it, I'm not so sure using too, as you've suggested, is as useful as you might have hoped. I would use too as I have below. State the phrase then use too at the end. It will be best understood in most situations.

Contextually supported usages in response to, "James ate a pear in the car yesterday."

  • He ate an apple too. (Meaning a pear and apple were eaten by James in the car yesterday.)
  • He ate one on the bus too. (Meaning James ate a pear on a bus yesterday.)
  • Sarah ate a pear in the car [yesterday] too. (Meaning Sarah as well as James ate a pear in a/the car yesterday. Sarah too, ate a pear, works but sounds a bit formal and I would never say it that way.)
  • Sarah ate a pear yesterday too. (Meaning Sarah as well as James ate a pear yesterday. Sarah probably didn't eat hers in a car.)

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