English :

The difference between too & very





What is the difference between the following two sentences?

The mango is too sweet.

and

The mango is very sweet.


By Mr.Zuhtu Kayali, Seoul,South Korea - 26th April 2007.

The first sentence has a negative meaning. When you say that the mango is too sweet, it implies that the mango is so sweet that you have problems eating it. In other words, it is excessively sweet. Similarly, when you say, The candidate is too smart, it has a negative connotation. Indirectly, you are saying that the candidate should not be hired because he may cause a lot of problems for the company. You are implying he is much too intelligent for the job and you foresee problems dealing with him.

If, on the other hand, you say, The mango is very sweet, you are paying a compliment. The degree of sweetness is just right. It is not excessive. You are saying that the mango is excellent. And maybe you can eat one if not more. Similarly, when you say, The candidate is very intelligent, it has a positive ring to it. You are saying that the candidate should be hired because he'll be good for the company.

Here are a few more examples. Can you make out the difference between the following pairs?

• The pickle is very hot.
• The pickle is too hot.

• I thought the movie was very realistic.
• I thought the movie was too realistic.



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