Difference between “so” and “such

Both  so  and such are translated as  so , but they are used very differently, causing quite a few headaches for English learners. Especially to those who have not read this article. Solve your doubts right now!

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The theory

This is the structure for so :

noun + so + adjective

  • The day is so cold (that *) we can’t go skating . It is such a cold day that we cannot go skating. 
  • My flat is so clean (that *) you could eat on the floor. My floor is so clean that you could eat on the floor.

 

And this is the structure for  such

 pronoun + such  + article + adjective + noun

  • It’s such a good movie (that *) I saw it twice. It is such a good movie that I saw it twice.
  • They’re such a nice family (that *) I spent Christmas with them. They are such a nice family that I spent Christmas with them.

* Note that this can be omitted, especially if it is a colloquial conversation.

 

The practice

First, we are going to practice sentences with so , which is pronounced / sóu / .

  He is so handsome and charming that I fell in love with him.   He is so handsome and charming (that) I fell in love with him.
  These shoes are so comfortable that I wear them all the time.     These shoes are so comfortable (that) I wear them all the time.  
  They are so smart that I feel silly.   They are so intelligent (that) I feel stupid.

Stop studying. #StartLearning . 

Now we go with  such , which is pronounced  / saach / :

  It is such an abstract painting that I got dizzy.   It’s such an abstract painting (that) I got dizzy.
  It was so cloudy that day that I couldn’t drive.   It was such a foggy day (that) I couldn’t drive.
  He is such a good cook that he has a Michelin star.     He’s such a good cook (that) he has a Michelin star. 

And finally, the two together! See if you can translate the sentences without looking and without mistakes.

  They are so smart and they are such professional people that they are perfect candidates.   They are so intelligent and such professional people (that) they are perfect candidates.
  We are so tired and we are such weak people that we could never be athletes.   We are so tired and such weak people (that) we could never be elite athletes.
  Amsterdam is so beautiful and it’s such a lovely place that I might move there.   Amsterdam is so beautiful and such a charming place (that) I might move there.

Extra

Pronunciation key

Such is not pronounced with a u  like the Spanish, but with a sound like a to  elongate is achievedlowering the jaw to chest: / sáach / .

Common mistake

How do you say it’s such a common mistake! ? Is it a mistake so common ? NOT! The correct thing is : It’s such a common mistake!

 

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