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'so' and 'such'

Do you know how to use the words so and such?

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

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Nice :D

Hello team
Need to clarify this what is the correct way to ask the question
Has he a car? Or
Does he have a car?

Hi Samin,

Good question! Both are grammatically correct. Nowadays, the second one is much more commonly used, and I'd recommend using that form. The first one sounds more formal and less modern, and is less commonly used.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, thank you for the lesson; it was really helpful. However, I have a question about this topic: "It was so kind of him to help me that I bought him some flowers to say thank you"
I thought that "kind" in that context was a noun for that reason I used the word "such" before "kind", but when I saw the answer in my book, the correct one was "so" (It is taking "kind" as an adjective and I don't understand why) Could you explain me why it is taking "kind" as an adjective please?

And also I have a question from another topic. Here you are:
Is it correct to say: "I don't really like these shoes. I'd rather they had a different or color"?
If this sentence is not correct. Could you please replace the word "had" for other one which is correct?

Hi GiulianaAndy,

Kind is an adjective, meaning 'generous' or 'nice'. The noun for this meaning is kindness (= generosity). Kind is a noun too, but it doesn't mean the same thing - kind (noun) means 'type' or 'sort', not 'kindness' - so that meaning doesn't work in this sentence.

In the structure It/That was ____ of (somebody), an adjective can fill the gap, for example:

  • It was (so) kind of him. (kind = adjective)
  • That was (so) nice of you. (nice = adjective)

You can use a noun with 'such' too, but that needs the adjective kind describing a noun, e.g.

  • It was such a kind thing to do that I bought him ... (kind = adjective)

Or the noun kindness:

  • It was such kindness that I bought him ... (kindness = noun)

The first way (using the adjective) is the more common way to say this meaning.

 

About your second question, the phrase is something is (not 'has') a colourWe need to use a form of the verb be. So, it should be --> I'd rather they were a different colour

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

You're such an angel! :)

Hello, great lesson. However, I have a question about the question 5 in the grammar test 2. It says: "It was so kind of him.........". I thought that kind is being a noun and because of that I chose "such" and not "so", but when I so the answer it was "so". Could you explain me what should I use "so" and not "such", please?
Thank you very much.

Hello GiulianaAndy,

The word kind is an adjective, so if it is by itself we use so:

It was so kind of him...

If there is a noun with the adjective then we use such:

He was such a kind man.

The noun from kind would be kindness:

He showed such kindness.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much :)

He's such a nice guy.
( ˘ ³˘)♥ ゚+。:.゚
He's so unique.
( ^-^)ノ∠※。.:*:・’°☆

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