1. ‘So’ vs. ‘such’
‘So’ is used with adjectives (adj.) or adverbs (adv.).
‘Such’ is used with nouns (n.).
|so + adj.||so + adv.||such + n.|
|He is so happy he has been invited to the party.||The girls finished their homework so quickly that their parents knew it was wrong.||His room is such a mess.|
|The movie was so disappointing.||The game sold so badly that the company went bankrupt.||The movie was such a disappointment.|
2. ‘Such’ + (adj. + n.)
‘Such’ can be followed by adj. + n..
This means ‘really’.
|Really||Such + adj. + n.|
|You have a really lovely house.||You have such a lovely house.|
|Her face has really delicate features.||Her face has such delicate features.|
|The house was a really big mess.||The house was such a big mess.|
|Studying history is a really big waste of time.||Studying history is such a big waste of time.|
3. ‘So’ vs. ‘very’
‘So + adj.’ can be used instead of ‘very + adj.’.
‘So + adj.” is slightly stronger than ‘very + adj.’.
|Very + adj.||So + adj.|
|She was very angry.||She was so angry.|
|The team is very good.||The team is so good.|
|The train is very old.||The train is so old.|
‘So + adv.’ can be used instead of ‘very + adv.’.
‘So + adv.’ is slightly stronger than ‘very + adv.’.
|Very + adv.||So + adv.|
|The team played very badly.||The team played so badly.|
|His students behaved very poorly.||His students behaved so poorly.|
|She spent money very freely on holiday.||She spent money so freely on holiday.|
4. Exception: ‘That’ (therefore) clauses
‘That’ has many uses.
One use is to replace ‘therefore’ (or other phrases that mean ‘therefore’) in sentences with ‘so + adj.’.
|I was so happy, therefore I danced.||I was so happy that I danced.|
|She was so angry, and because of that she hit him.||She was so angry that she hit him.|
However, in these sentences ‘very’ cannot be used.
|I was so happy that I danced.||I was very happy that I danced.|
|She was so angry that she hit him.||She was very angry that she hit him.|
|They were so tired that they fell asleep.||They were very tired that they fell asleep.|
|The woman was so rich that she bought her friend a car.||The woman was very rich that she bought her friend a car.|
*Note: This rule is when ‘that’ means ‘therefore’. If ‘that’ means ‘because’ then ‘very’ is OK.
|that = therefore||that = because|
|I was so angry, therefore I hit him||I was so angry because I hit him.|
|I was so angry that I hit him. (OK)||I was so angry that I hit him. (OK)|
|I was very angry that I hit him. (not OK)||I was very angry that I hit him. (OK)|
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