'so' and 'such'

Do you know how to use the words so and such? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how so and such are used.

She's so interesting!
This is such an interesting book.
A new phone costs so much money these days.
Traffic in the city centre is such a nightmare!

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

'so' and 'such': Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation 

We can use so and such to intensify adjectives, adverbs and nouns.

Adjectives and adverbs

We can use so with an adjective or adverb to make it stronger.

It's so hot today!
She looks so young in that photo.
He walks so slowly. It's so annoying!

If we are using the comparative form of the adjective or adverb, we use so much to make it stronger.

They were so much more innocent when they were younger.
I work so much more quickly when I can concentrate.

Nouns

With a noun or adjective + noun, we use such to make it stronger. 

You're such an angel!
It's such a hot day today!
They're such lovely trousers. Where did you buy them?

However, when we use much, many, little and few with a noun, we use so to make it stronger.

There are so many people here!
I've had so little time to myself this week.

Saying the result

We often use these so and such structures with that and a clause to say what the result is.

It was so cold that the water in the lake froze.
He was such a good teacher that we all passed the exam.
There's so much noise that I can't think!

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

'so' and 'such': Grammar test 2

Language level

Do you need to improve your English grammar?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English grammar with our online courses.
Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Hello Karan Narang,

That sounds quite odd. Perhaps you could tell us some of your answers and we'll check to see if there is a problem with them. Remember that it's important to have each answer correct in terms of punctuation (no extra spaces, for example), spelling and capitalisation.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Emily Mellor on Fri, 05/06/2020 - 11:54

Permalink
I learned a lot about this topic. It's such a clear explanation that I understand how to use these two words. Thanks

Submitted by Lal on Sun, 10/05/2020 - 08:23

Permalink
Hello Sir Is this sentence correct? Don't take such a long time. Please let me know Thank you. Regards Lal

Hello Lal,

Yes, that sentence is grammatically correct. Whether it is appropriate in a given context will depend upon the context, of course.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by aurora kastanias on Sat, 02/05/2020 - 10:33

Permalink
Hello. I can’t find here the use of “so” that I am looking for. Eg. As it was in the beginning SO it will be in the end. Could you redirect me and tell me what this “so” represents? I would like to understand how verbs and their order are used in this context. Eg. As it was in the beginning so IT WILL BE in the end; or, As it was in the beginning so WILL IT BE in the end. And if the second is correct, why? Thank you

Hello aurora kastanias

Yes, 'so' is quite a versatile word. If you follow the link, the meaning here is the one under 'so adverb (in this way)'. Another way of saying this sentence would be something like 'At the end it will be just like it was in the beginning'.

It would not be correct to change the word order to the one you ask about. The order of subjects and verbs does indeed change sometimes -- for example, after negative adverbial expressions -- but not typically after 'so'.

I'm not sure where you found this, but it reminds me of the King James Version of the Bible. If so, it would sound quite strange to use that style in ordinary speaking these days.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Wed, 29/04/2020 - 14:30

Permalink
I think I’ve heard people saying “so and so” or “such and such”. Am I right? Does anyone know what they mean?

Hello Rafaela1,

Yes, you are correct.

So and so is used to describe people when we don't want to or can't name them. Such and such is used in the same way for things.

You can see examples in the dictionary entries for each:

http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/such%20and%20such

http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/so-and-so

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team