So vs. Such

This time, we're gonna shift our focus to more grammatically confusing pairs. I'm pretty sure you've come across these two. Shall we?

"So" vs. "Such" in the English Grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both show the intensity and have the same meaning as 'very'. However, 'so' is an adverb, whereas, 'such' mainly functions as a determiner.


These two words have different grammatical functions. 'So' is an adverb of degree, showing the intensity of something. 'So' mainly precedes an adjective, an adverb, an adjective phrase, or an adverb phrase. Look at the examples below:

James glanced around and said: 'Dude. It all looks so cool'.

The last time I saw him, she looked so sad and desperate.

'Such' is a determiner. It mainly precedes nouns and noun phrases and modifies them. Take a look at the examples below:

I'm thinking he's such an interesting person to me.

Emily is such a coward, don't you think?


They both show the degree of the intensity of the words they are modifying. Check out the following examples:

Oh my God! They are such losers.

I know you don't believe me, but you look so stunning.

Are They Interchangeable?

As it is clear, these two can never be used interchangeably because they have different grammatical functions. Compare:

✓ I can't believe I actually fell for such a horrible person.

X I can't believe I actually fell for so a horrible person.

Here, this sentence is grammatically incorrect.


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