So and Such in English
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So and such can be used in several different ways in English sentences.
SO and SUCH in exclamations
Both words can add emphasis to your sentences, to make the meaning stronger. In the exclamations, we use the formula so + adjective and such + adjective + noun (singular or plural):
- It’s such a nice day! (noun)
- It’s so beautiful outside… (adjective)
- He’s such a generous man. (noun)
- He’s so generous. (adjective)
The meaning is similar to words like ‘very’ or ‘really’:
- The music is very loud! = The music is so loud!
- She’s in a very bad mood today. = She’s in such a bad mood today.
Let’s take a closer look at So and Such:
As an adverb, so is similar to such and expresses an exclamation. It is often associated with an adjective, a quantifier (= a quantity word like many, much…), or a verb, and has different meanings according to the context:
- I’m so glad to see you.
- I’m not so sure.
- We had so much work!
- You mustn’t worry so.
So is also used to express the consequence:
- I fel tired so I went to bed.
We use so to express similarity:
- I’m tired – So am I.
- Sam likes soccer. – So do I.
- Kevin lives in Germany. → So does Tina.
So allows you to refer to previous statements or events:
- I think so.
- Who says so?
- So… ?
- So what’s the problem?
- So we can’t go after all.
So helps to avoid repetitions:
- We arrived early and so did he.
- Tonny speaks Spanish and so does his friend.
So can refer to a size, a length, an unspecified quantity:
- The table is about so high.
- They pay us so much a week.
So can also refer to a way of doing things:
- Hold the pen (like) so.
- The helmet is so constructed as to absorb most of the impact.
Finally, so can be used with quantifiers: much, many, little, few, often, rarely… This makes it possible to know a quantity, an amount of something:
- Sarah earns so much money!
- You have had so much to drink!
- There was so little damage after the storm.
- I’m surprised that so few students turned up today.
The constructions So… that and such … that are used to express purpose and consequence:
So + adjective + that
- The hotel was so comfortable that we decided to stay another night.
- Give me some money so (that) I can buy some eggs.
- I took a taxi so that I could get there on time.
- His handwriting is so bad (that) it’s illegible.
The expression so as to, more formal, also expresses the purpose:
- We came back early so as to avoid the bad weather.
We use Such in front of names that can be counted in the singular, and in front of nouns that can be counted in the plural and uncountables nouns.
Such (a/an) expresses an exclamation or admiration and is used differently according to the context:
- It’s such a surprise to see you here.
- Such situations are common.
- He’s changed his mind again. Oh well, such is life.
Idioms with Such
Such … as can be used to make a comparison :
- I’ve never seen such a fast car as yours.
We use such as to present one or a list of examples of what we mention (it is mainly used in writing):
- How can you forget a movie such as ‘Star Wars’?
- I love action video games, such as Assassin’s Creed, GTA or Resident Evil.
- There are many ways to do it. – Such as?
We use as such with a negative to indicate that a word or expression is not a very accurate description of the real situation. It can also be used after a noun to indicate that this thing is being considered alone, separately from other things or factors:
- He’s not an expert as such, but …
- You’re a member of the staff and as such you can get coffe for free.
Such and such is used to refer to a particular type of person or similar thing, regardless. Such and such is placed in front of the nouns:
- Then she said the band was coming to Glasgow on such and such a date.
- If you do such and such a job, you will become rich.
The constructions So… that and such … that are used to express the purpose and consequence: Such + adjective + noun + that (that is optional):
- It’s such a good film (that) I’m going to see it again.
- Paul has such a big house (that) I got lost on the way to the kitchen.