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How to Use the Word “SO”

Hi dear English learners! Here is another lesson. It is about an adverb and conjunction SO. It can help you think about whether you use it in the right way or hopefully add more handy phrases to your vocabulary, as well as deepen your understanding of the English language. I’ll also give lots of example sentences so you can learn in context. Let’s find out how to use the word “SO”.

So as an adverb

So is an adverb meaning ‘to such a great extent’ or ‘very’

  • Fiona was so overwhelmed by emotions when she saw her friend.
  • The children were so upset when they learned the news that they started to cry.
  • Mary loved her husband so much that she couldn’t imagine her life without him.
  • Thank you for your email. We are so pleased to finally hear from you.
  • I have to go home. I have so much work to do.

How to Use the Word “SO”

SO as a conjunction  

You can use SO as a conjunction to connect two sentences or clauses. So as conjunction normally introduces the result.

  • I couldn’t sleep last night so I got up and had a cup of warm milk.
  • Steve couldn’t focus on his studying so he decided to take a break.
  • I heard that it was going to rain so I took my umbrella.
  • There were no available rooms in the hotel so we had to sleep in the car.
  • Yvonne had a day off so she decided to visit some friends in Cambridge.

How to Use the Word “SO”

So used for comparison

We use so in the phrase not so…as to say that something is not the same degree as something else.

  • Learning Italian isn’t so difficult as I imagined.
  • Brian couldn’t swim so fast as his friend.
  • Fishing is not so much a hobby as just an interest to me.
  • Living with teenagers is not so easy as people think.
  • They grow coffee in Mexico, but not so much as in Brazil.

How to Use the Word “SO”

SO to refer back to something previously mentioned.

We can use SO to refer back to something that we or someone else mentioned in a previous sentence.

  • “Do you think they’re going to win the election?” ” I think so.”
  • They thought that it was raining but when they came out they realised that it wasn’t so.
  • It’s going to be warm and sunny for the weekend. If so, we could go for a picnic.
  • “Tom said that you are a painter.” “Is that so?” 
  • They told me to fill in the application form and I did so.

How to Use the Word “SO”

SO meaning ALSO

We can use SO with the meaning ‘also’.

  • Tom regretted eating lasagna after 10 and so did his wife.
  • Our little town has changed a lot and so have the people. 
  • “We insist to know what’s going on” “So do I”
  • If I could learn to dive, so can you. 
  • My sister is going on holiday in June and so are we. 

How to Use the Word “SO”

The phrases ‘and so on’ and ‘and so forth’

Use the phrases instead of mentioning more things of the same kind.

  • We were sitting by the fire, drinking wine, chatting, and so on.
  • I didn’t like the flat. The walls were shabby, some furniture was damaged, and so on.
  • When we entered the office, we saw that it was full of old boxes, unusable shelves, and so forth.

How to Use the Word “SO”

‘…or so’

Use the phrase ‘…or so‘ to say ‘approximately’.

  • There were twenty or so people at the party.
  • The trip didn’t take long – an hour or so.
  • It was a small village with a hundred or so houses.
How to Use the Word “SO”
How to Use the Word “SO”

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