'So' can be used as both a conjunction and an adverb. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.
'So' as an Adverb
'So' can function as an adverb. Below, we are going to analyze the different kinds of adverbs it can be:
'So' as an Adverb of Degree
'So' can be an adverb of degree. Look below:
- When we want to show that something has risen up to a great extent:
The manager was being
- When we want to indicate that something is as nice, great, etc. as another:
How could she lie to
Stop treating me
- When we want to emphasize the degree of something by showing the result:
As you can see, here 'so' is used to indicate how weak the mentioned person had been.
My father changed
'So' as a Commenting and Viewpoint Adverb
'So' can also function as an adverb of viewpoint and commenting when we want to repeat what has been said about another person, or when we want to emphasize an idea. Take a look:
- When we want to add something that was mentioned before about another person:
His daughter has been affected by Covid-19, and
- When we want to refer back to something that was mentioned before:
Position in a Sentence
'Since 'so' is functioning as an adverb here, it mainly comes before adverbs or adjectives to modify them. Look:
Why are you being
Nice is an adjective.
Everything had happened
Suddenly is an adverb.
Spoken Uses of 'So'
We can use 'so' differently when we are speaking English. Let us learn all about how we can use 'so' in different forms of speech, below:
- Sometimes when we want to emphasize what we are saying, we can use 'so' before a noun phrase:
As you can see, it is only used before a negative marker.
I'm sorry but you are
- When we want to start a conversation or get someone's attention:
- When we want to show how big/tall/ high, etc. someone/something is, we use 'so':
The tables are about
- When we want to indicate how someone's behavior is typical of them:
- When we are narrating a story, we use 'so' to tell the next event:
- So?/so what: When we want to indicate that something will not change the situation:
This is used in spoken English and it is impolite.
She was mentally unstable, and
- When we are using 'so' only in spoken English in order to start a conversation with someone or to introduce something, we put it at the beginning of the sentence. Take a look below:
'So' can also be used differently in a literary text. If we want to say that something continues as the way it was described, we use 'so'. Take a look:
Cotton Mather and Miss Hale spent days together, and
Idioms and Phrases of 'So'
As you might probably know, 'so' can be used in various idioms. Let us take a look below:
- So much the better: This one is used when we want to say that a situation might even get better:
If you are able to come to class on time,
Here, the sentence indicates that it is even better that the particular person can make it to class on time.
If your friend has time to practice guitar more,
- So they say: When we want to show that something is what most people believe, but it might/might not be true:
As you grow older, you will be able to maintain your self-composure more,
The building was exploded accidentally,
- So to speak: It is used when we want to say something metaphorically:
In their marriage, Anna is the one who wears the trousers,
Here, the sentence metaphorically states 'Anna' has the upper hand.
- So far as I'm concerned: This one is used to signify that we are telling our own opinion:
This idiom is synonymous with as far as I'm concerned.
- So not: To emphasize that something is not going to happen or is not true:
The final decision has been made,
- So as to: When we want to show the purpose of an action, we use 'so as to':
We avoided them
The skilled waitress coaxed the customer
'So' as a Conjunction
It was also mentioned that 'so' is a conjunction. Let us see what kinds of conjunction it can be:
'So' as a Coordinating Conjunction
As you know, conjunctions are used to join words, phrases, and clauses. However, note that 'so' is only used to connect two independent clauses together which is why we call it a coordinating conjunction. Take a look:
I was sleepy,
Hanna was tired,
Position in a Sentence
Since 'so' is a conjunction here, we can only put it between the two independent clauses we want to connect. Take a look:
My father wasn't in the mood to cook,
The hotel manager got angry,
Please note that when we use 'so' as a conjunction, we must always put a comma before it.
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