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So Vs. Such

September 13, 2018

So, such, and too are words with similar meanings and usage that our students often struggle with. We’ve previously blogged about So Vs. Too, so let’s examine so and such in more detail now.

Do your students get so and such confused? Mine sure did. They’d use so incorrectly with a noun (e.g., That was so good movie) or such without an article (e.g., That was such good movie). We hope the patterns and examples below will help your students remember how to use so and such correctly!

So Vs. Such

Screenshot of our So Vs. Such resource

So Vs. Such – Grammar & Usage Resources

Notes

Note #1

Teach students to look for the noun, not the article, when deciding whether to use so or such. For singular count nouns, the pattern will be such + article + adjective + noun, but for non-count nouns and plural count nouns, the pattern will be such + adjective + noun.

  • That was such a boring book. (singular count noun)
  • That was such heavy rain. (non‑count noun)
  • They were such good singers. (plural count noun)

Note #2

Remind students that the pattern “so + adjective + noun” is impossible.

  • That was so good movie.
  • That was such a good movie.
  • That movie was so good.

Note #3

Note that so and such have many other meanings and functions in English. Check a dictionary for a list of all possible meanings and uses.

Practice

See our Grammar & Usage Resource on So Vs. Such for a larger version of this chart and a handy practice exercise. You can also teach so and such in context in our So & Such Stories lesson.

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Comments (4)

Deb S.(Teacher)

How do you explain the use of "so" in these examples?

Example 1: So, this is how we do this.
Example 2: Is that so?!?

Reply to Comment

Tanya Trusler(Author)

Hi Deb,

There are so many uses for "so" in English. You can see a long list of definitions and uses in Merriam-Webster's entry: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/so

In your first example, "so" is common when you realize something/figure something out. We'd classify it as a conjunction in that case. For another example, see Merriam-Webster's entry under conjunction 3 b #2.

In your second example, so is an adverb with the meaning "in a manner or way indicated or suggested." See MW's entry under adverb 1 a.

Kimmie V.(Teacher)

Wow, this post is simply amazing :D

Reply to Comment

Lei Kayanuma(Author)

Thanks, Kimmie! We're happy to hear that!

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