To vs In Order To

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What’s the difference between them?

To

Meaning:

to is a preposition meaning “in the direction of” or “towards”; may be used to indicate the purpose of a following action or statement.

Examples:

1. I need to finish my homework tonight.

2. We decided to go to the beach this weekend.

3. I want to travel to Europe someday.

In Order To

Meaning:

In order to is a phrase used to indicate the purpose of a following action or statement.

Examples:

1. In order to ensure a successful delivery, the package needs to be handled with care.

2. In order to be considered for the job, applicants must submit their resumes by Friday.

3. In order to get the best results, I had to start my project early.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

To

1. Alternately

2. In Place Of

3. Exchange

4. Replace

5. Substitute

1. From

2. Away

3. Near

4. Depart

5. Come Back

In Order To

1. So As To

2. With The Intent Of

3. To Achieve

4. To Accomplish

5. For The Purpose Of

1. Willy-nilly

2. Unsystematically

3. Sporadically

4. Without regard to

5. Randomly

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "To", "In Order To".

1. 'To' is used as a preposition and is often used to indicate direction or movement.

2. 'In order to' is typically used as a conjunction and implies a purpose or goal.

3. When deciding between 'to' and 'in order to', consider the context and the implied purpose of the sentence.

4. If a purpose or goal is implied, 'in order to' is likely more appropriate.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When should 'To' be used?

'To' is a preposition used to indicate a direction or relationship between two things. It is used to indicate an action, such as in the phrase 'to walk'. It is also used to indicate goals, such as in the phrase 'to save money'.

When is the appropriate context for using 'In Order To'?

'In Order To' is used to indicate a purpose or a goal. It is used to explain why someone is doing something or why it is necessary. For example, 'I took the bus in order to save money'.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. The pronounciation of 'to' is the same as the word 'too' while the pronunciation of 'in order to' is distinct and includes the syllables 'in or-der to'.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake people make when using these words is using 'to' when 'in order to' is more appropriate. People may also mix up the pronunciation of 'to' and 'in order to'. Additionally, people may forget to use 'in order to' at all when the purpose of an action is important to explain.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. My sister had to work late __ complete the project.

2. We had to go to the store __ get food for the picnic.

3. I had to wake up early __ catch the bus.

4. I need to study __ pass the test.

5. We had to wait __ get a table at the restaurant.

6. I had to read the instructions __ figure out how to use the device.

1. My sister had to work late in order to complete the project.

Explanation: The phrase in order to is used to express the idea of doing something to achieve a particular result or goal. The sentence implies that the sister had to work late so she could accomplish the project.

2. We had to go to the store to get food for the picnic.

Explanation: The phrase to is used to indicate motion and direction. The sentence implies that the group had to go to the store to acquire food for the picnic.

3. I had to wake up early to catch the bus.

Explanation: The phrase to is used to indicate motion and direction. The sentence implies that the individual had to wake up early to make it to the bus on time.

4. I need to study in order to pass the test.

Explanation: The phrase in order to is used to express the idea of doing something to achieve a particular result or goal. The sentence implies that the individual needs to study so they can pass the test.

5. We had to wait to get a table at the restaurant.

Explanation: The phrase to is used to indicate motion and direction. The sentence implies that the group had to wait to get a table at the restaurant.

6. I had to read the instructions in order to figure out how to use the device.

Explanation: The phrase in order to is used to express the idea of doing something to achieve a particular result or goal. The sentence implies that the individual had to read the instructions so they could understand how to use the device.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.