More on So and Such

Last week, I gave you a video to watch about the difference between “so” and “such.” This week, I’m going to give you a little more information on how to use those two words.

So

“So” is usually followed by an adjective or an adverb.

  • She is so smart. (Smart is an adjective.)
  • She plays the piano so beautifully. (Beautifully is an adverb.)

Such

“Such” is usually followed by a noun or noun phrase. What’s the difference between a noun and a noun phrase?

  • A noun is just a noun – She lives her life with such courage. (Courage is a noun.)
  • A noun phrase is a noun AND one or more words that go with it, like an article, a possessive, or an adjective – She is such a courageous woman. (A courageous woman is a noun phrase.) A noun phrase starts with the first word that must go with the noun, and it ends with the noun.

That

Many times, sentences that use “so” and “such” also have a clause beginning with “that.” The idea is that the adjective, adverb or noun is very strong, and it causes something to happen. Look at these examples:

  • She is so smart that she became a doctor when she was only 19 years old. – In this example, she is very smart, and because she is so smart, she was able to finish high school, university, and medical school when she was very young.
  • She plays the piano so beautifully that I cry every time I listen to her music. – Because she plays very beautifully, I cry when I listen to it. Her beautiful playing causes me to cry.
  • She lives her life with such courage that other people are inspired to take risks too. – Her life of courage causes other people to be inspired. They want to take risks because they see her taking risks.
  • She is such a courageous woman that she traveled to Zimbabwe alone with her four children. – Her courage allowed her to travel internationally with four children and no help from other adults.

Notice that all of these “that” clauses have their own subject and verb.

  • that she became a doctor when she was only 19 years old – Subject: she / Verb: became
  • that I cry every time I listen to her music – Subject: I / Verb: listen
  • that other people are inspired to take risks too – Subject: other people / Verb: are inspired
  • that she traveled to Zimbabwe alone with her four children – Subject: she / Verb: traveled

Practice

Now it’s your turn to practice. Complete these sentences:

  1. Mia plays soccer ____  ___________ that she made the Olympic team.
  2. Walter’s head hurt so badly that…
  3. Carla is _________ a good cook that…
  4. The brownies that Beth baked were so delicious that…
  5. Mallory is such ________________________________ that people always ask her if she is a model.

Now try writing your own sentences with “so” and “such.” Leave them in the comments section!

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