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