'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

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Submitted by jafarghaffari on Thu, 17/11/2022 - 03:06

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Hello
I need help with "so much" and "too much". Are the following correct English?
so much angry
so much bad
too much big
too much quickly

Thanks in advance.

Hello jafarghaffari,

I'm afraid none of those are correct!

'so much' and 'too much' have two uses:

1. before nouns: so much money, so much time, too much trouble, too much work etc.

[with countable nouns we use 'many': so many people, too many problems]

2. as adverbs to describe actions: work so much, spend too much etc.

 

Before adjectives and adverbs we use just 'so' or just 'too':

so big, so slowly, too bad, too angry

 

You can use 'much' before 'too' to make it stronger:

much too bad, much too angry

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by IbraJaya on Tue, 04/10/2022 - 03:54

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Since "such" is followed by a noun phrase, is "such a beautifully made dress" grammatically correct?

Hello IbraJaya,

Yes, that's correct - well done!

  • We use 'so' when there is an adjective without a noun: The dress is so beautifully made.
  • We use 'such' when there is a noun: It is such a beautifully made dress.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by vanviet1603 on Sun, 21/08/2022 - 03:46

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It is such a great lesson. To be honest, I have not known the way to use those words.

Submitted by bahar-1 on Thu, 18/08/2022 - 07:02

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why is My cats have got so gorgeous eyes wrong? Can't we say very/so gorgeous?

Hi bahar-1,

It's because "gorgeous" is part of a noun phrase: "gorgeous eyes". We need "such" because of the noun "eyes". 

But "so" can be correct if we rewrite the sentence --> "My cats' eyes are so gorgeous". Here, "gorgeous" is by itself, not part of a noun phrase, so "so" is the right word to use.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

I assume 'gorgeous' is an adjective, logically, we shall used 'so' to emphasis the meaning.
However, 'gorgeous' come after 'eyes'.
'gorgeous' is an adjective to describe the 'eyes', so we should treated 'gorgeous eye' as a noun.
So, 'such' is the correct answer is this case.

Submitted by jacksondjackson on Sat, 13/08/2022 - 20:04

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Hi,
I'm doing some exercises about key word transformation and I got one aswer correct and one incorrect on the same matter. Could you please explain why?

He was the kindest person I had ever seen. (SUCH)
I had never seen such a kind person before. (Got it correct)

This is the strangest music I have ever heard. (STRANGE)
I have never heard such strange music before. (Got it wrong because I answered "...such a strange...")

Hi  jacksondjackson,

The reason one is correct and the other not is related to the nouns in the sentences: person and music.

Person is a countable noun, so 'a' is needed. Music is uncountable so no 'a' is used. You would need to say 'such a strange piece of music'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team