to Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “to” in the English Dictionary

"to" in British English

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topreposition

uk   strong /tuː/ weak // /tu/ //  us   /tuː/  //  //

to preposition (INFINITIVE)

A1 used before a ​verb to show that it is in the infinitiveA1 used after some ​verbs, ​especially when the ​actiondescribed in the infinitive will ​happenlater: She ​agreed to ​help. I'll have to ​tell him. Sadly, she didn't ​live to ​see her ​grandchildren.A1 used after many ​verbs of ​agreeing, ​needing, and ​wanting: I need to ​eat something first. I'd ​love to ​live in New York. That ​child ought to be in ​bed.A2 used ​instead of ​repeating a ​verb clause: "Are you going ​tonight?" "I'm ​certainlyhoping to."A1 used in ​phrases where there are ​reportedorders and ​requests: He told me to ​wait. Did anyone ​ask Daniel to ​reserve the ​room?A1 used after some ​adjectives: It's not ​likely to ​happen. Three ​months is toolong to ​wait. She's not ​strong enough to go ​hiking up ​mountains. used after some ​nouns: He has this ​enviableability to ​ignore everything that's ​unpleasant in ​life. This will be my second ​attempt to make ​flakypastry. A clausecontaining to + infinitive can be used as the ​subject of a ​sentence: To go ​overseas on ​your own is very ​brave. My ​plan was to get it all ​arranged before I told anyone.A1 used after ​question words: I don't ​know what to do. Can you ​tell me how to get there?A2 used with an infinitive to ​express use or ​purpose: I'm going there to ​see my ​sister. This ​tool is used to make ​holes in ​leather. To make this ​cake, you'll need two ​eggs, 175 ​grams of ​sugar, and 175 ​grams of ​flour. He ​works to get ​paid, not because he ​enjoys it. You can ​introduce a clause with a phrase ​containing to + infinitive: To be ​honest (= ​speakinghonestly), Becky, I like thegrey ​shirtbetter. To ​tell you the ​truth, I never really ​liked the man.A1 used with an infinitive after 'there is' or 'there are' and a ​noun: There's an ​awful lot of ​work to be done.to be going on with UK To be going on with ​means in ​order to ​continue with the ​presentactivity or ​situation: Do we have enough ​paint to be going on with, or should I get some more while I'm out?
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to preposition (SHOWING DIRECTION)

A1 in the ​direction of: We're going to ​town on the ​bus, ​okay? We went to Prague last ​year. I ​asked someone the way to the ​towncentre. You can ​walk from here to the ​school in under ten ​minutes. I ​asked Kirsten and Kai to ​dinner (= ​invited them to come and ​eatdinner with me) next ​week. We ​received another ​invitation to a ​wedding this ​morning. I had my back to them, so I couldn't ​see what they were doing. She ​walked over to the ​window. He went up to a ​completestranger and ​startedtalking.UK You've got ​yoursweater on back tofront (= with the back of the ​sweater on the ​chest).
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to preposition (RECEIVING)

A2 used for ​showing who ​receives something or who ​experiences an ​action: I ​lent my ​bike to my ​brother. I told that to Alex and he just ​laughed. Who's the ​letteraddressed to?A2 With many ​verbs that have two ​objects, 'to' can be used before the indirect object : Give me that ​gun./Give that ​gun to me.
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to preposition (UNTIL)

B1 until a ​particulartime, ​state, or ​level is ​reached: It's only two ​weeks to ​Christmas. Unemployment has ​risen to ​almost eight million. He ​drank himself to ​death. She ​nursed me back to ​health.A1 used when saying the ​time, to ​mean before the ​statedhour: It's twenty to six.
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to preposition (EXTREME)

used to ​suggest an ​extremestate: Look at ​yourshirt - it's ​torn to ​shreds! She was ​thrilled to ​bits. I was ​bored to ​tears.

to preposition (CONNECTION)

B1 in ​connection with: What was ​theirresponse to ​yourquery? She was so ​mean to me. There's a ​funnyside to everything.B1 used to say where something is ​fastened or ​connected: The ​paper was ​stuck to the ​wall with ​tape. A ​fastrailserviceconnects us to the ​city.
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to preposition (FUTURE)

used before an infinitive, usually with 'be', to ​indicate a ​futureaction: The ​governmentannounced today that it is to ​cutfunding for the ​arts for next ​year.
See also
mainly UK used in this ​pattern to say what someone should do or to give an ​order: You're not to (= you must not)biteyournails like that. Newspapers often use to + ​infinitive without 'be' in ​their headlines (= ​titles of ​articles) when ​reportingplannedfutureevents: Russia to ​sendtroops in.
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to preposition (CAUSING)

C2 causing a ​particularfeeling in a ​particularperson: That's when I ​found out, to my ​amazement, that she was coming here.
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to preposition (CONSIDERED BY)

considered by: I ​realize it may ​soundstrange to you. I ​mean, £50 is nothing to him (= he would not ​consider it a ​largeamount).informal "I ​hear you've been going out with Ella." "Yeah, so? What's it to you?" (= It should not ​interest you, and you have no ​right to ​ask about it.)
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to preposition (SERVING)

B1 serving: As a ​personaltrainer to the ​rich and ​famous, he ​earns over a million ​dollars a ​year.
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to preposition (AGAINST)

against or very near: Stand back to back. They were ​dancingcheek to ​cheek.
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to preposition (BELONGING)

matching or ​belonging to: My ​dad gave me the ​keys to his ​car. I've ​lost the ​trousers to this ​jacket. having as a ​characteristicfeature: She has a ​meanside to her. There is a very ​moraltone to this ​book.
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to preposition (SHOWING POSITION)

B1 used to show the ​position of something or someone in ​comparison with something or someone ​else: John's ​standing to the ​left of Adrian in the ​photo. The Yorkshire Dales are twenty ​miles to the ​north of the ​city.

to preposition (IN HONOUR OF)

in ​honour or ​memory of: I ​proposed a ​toast to the ​bride and the ​groom. The ​record is ​dedicated to her ​mother, who ​diedrecently.
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to preposition (FOR EACH)

for each: How many ​dollars are there to the ​pound? This ​car does about 40 ​miles to the ​gallon. When we go ​swimming together I do six ​lengths to her twelve.
Compare
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to preposition (BETWEEN)

B2 used in ​phrases that show a ​range: There were ​probably 30 to 35 (= a ​number between 30 and 35)people there.
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to preposition (AT THE SAME TIME AS)

at the same ​time as ​music or other ​sound: I like ​exercising to ​music. He ​left the ​stage to the ​sound of ​booing.

to preposition (POSITIVE)

relating to a ​positivereaction or ​result: When the ​pasta is done to ​your liking, ​drain the ​water. I ​think being at the ​meeting would be to ​your advantage.

to preposition (COMPARED WITH)

B1 UK compared with: She's ​earning a ​reasonablewage, but nothing to what she could if she was in the ​privatesector. Paul ​beat me by three ​games to two (= he ​won three and I ​won two). He was ​old enough to be her ​father - she ​looked about 30 to his 60.
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Grammar

toadverb

uk   us   /tuː/
(Definition of to from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"to" in American English

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topreposition

 us   /tu, , /

to preposition (INFINITIVE)

used before a ​verbshowing that it is in the ​infinitive: She ​agreed to ​help. I ​asked her to ​finish by ​Friday. I need to ​eat something. I’d ​love to ​visit New York. I ​want to go now. "To" ​followed by an ​infinitive is used after ​adjectives: It’s not ​likely to ​happen. I was ​afraid to ​tell her. "To" ​followed by an ​infinitive is used after ​nouns: He has the ​ability to do two things at ​once. "To" ​followed by an ​infinitive can ​begin a ​clause: To be ​honest (= Speaking ​honestly), I ​prefer the ​grayskirt. "To" ​followed by an ​infinitive can be used to ​expressrequests or ​orders: Is it ​possible to have ​teainstead? You’re not to go there by yourself. "To" ​followed by an ​infinitive is used after "how," "what," "when," "where," "whether," "which," "who," "whom," or "whose": I don’t ​know what to do. Can you ​tell me how to get there? "To" ​followed by an ​infinitive is used after "enough": I was ​close enough to ​touch him.

to preposition (INSTEAD OF VERB)

used ​instead of a ​verbclause when ​answeringquestions: "Would you like to go to the ​moviestonight?" "Yes, I’d ​love to."

to preposition (FOR)

for the ​purpose of doing something: I ​asked Helen out to ​dinner.

to preposition (SHOWING DIRECTION)

in the ​direction of or as ​far as: We went to Montreal last ​year. I’m going to the ​bank. We were in ​mud up to ​ourankles. "To" can be used to show the ​position of something or someone in ​relation to something or someone ​else: We came ​face to ​face in the ​elevator. The Rocky Mountains are to the ​west of the ​Great Plains. "To" can show something is on or around something: Can you ​tie the dog’s ​leash to the ​fence?

to preposition (BETWEEN)

used in ​phrases that show a ​range of things or a ​distance between ​places: There must have been 30 to 35 ​people there. We got two to three ​inches of ​snow at ​home. Read ​pages 10 to 25. It’s two to three hundred ​miles from Boston to Washington.

to preposition (RECEIVING)

used for ​showing who ​receives something or who ​experiences an ​action: I told that ​story to Glen. Who’s the ​letteraddressed to?

to preposition (IN CONNECTION WITH)

in ​connection with: They ​exercise to ​music. What was ​theirresponse to that ​news?

to preposition (COMPARED WITH)

compared with: Paul ​beat me three ​games to two. I ​scored 80 to Talia’s 90.

to preposition (UNTIL)

until a ​particulartime, ​state, or ​condition is ​reached: It’s only two ​weeks to ​yourbirthday. We’re ​opendaily from 2 to 6 p.m. My ​shirt was ​torn to ​shreds. "To" is used, when giving the ​time, to ​meanminutes before the ​statedhour: It’s twenty to six.

to preposition (CAUSING)

causing a ​particularfeeling or ​effect in someone: To my ​greatrelief, she ​decided against going.

to preposition (CONSIDERED BY)

considered by: Does this make any ​sense to you? Fifty ​dollars is very little to him.

to preposition (MATCHING)

matching or ​belonging to: the ​top to a ​bottle the ​keys to my ​apartment There is a ​funnyside to everything.

to preposition (FOR EACH)

for each of; per : This ​car gets about 30 ​miles to the ​gallon.
(Definition of to from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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