Two: When you call out or indicate two people or things from a huge group. Both: It is a reference to two things or people that have already been decided between a number of possibilities.

Difference Between Two & Both

• When you call out or indicate only two items or people out of a whole lot, you are using the word two. There is a general sense to it. • Both can refer to two individuals or things that have already been chosen from a variety. There is a special sense to it.

Examples of Two & Both 

The teacher picked two students from a class of 30. She said, “I have chosen you two to participate in the essay writing competition.”The teacher chose two students and said to them: “I hope you both win the competition.”

Examples in Academic Writing

Out of all the reactive elements, we experimented with two ─ copper and iron.We tested two drugs, and both caused an allergic reaction to the subject.

Samples to Test

• The professor said, “You ____ are the brightest students in the whole class.” • Sam and I said, “We ___ will come to the practice today.” • I saw an array of fruits and picked up the only ___ of my favorites.