COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS: SO and SUCH

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so_and_such‘So’ and ‘such’ are often used incorrectly in English.
Both so and such are used to ‘give emphasis’ – this means to show that something is ‘extreme’ or ‘more than’. For example –
The concert was so good! It was such a good concert!
In both cases, it wasn’t simply a ‘good’ concert, it was more than that.

So and such rule #1:

The main difference between so and such is that you do not use a noun after ‘so’.

  • The concert was so good! Correct This is correct

It was so a good concert Incorrect You cannot say this
 

So and such rule #2:

After such, you need a noun.

  • It was such a good concert Correct This is correct

It was such good Incorrect You cannot say this

So and such rule # 3:

The two rules for so and such above can be combined with ‘that’ to talk about the results of something.
FACT = The concert was so loud. RESULT = our ears hurt.


  • The concert was so loud that our ears hurt.  Correct This is correct

The concert was such loud that our ears hurt.  Incorrect You cannot say this

  • It was such a loud concert that our ears hurt.  Correct This is correct

So and such rule #4:

So can also be followed by an adverb. NOTE: This is used to make a short comment or exclamation about something.

  • He eats so quickly!  Correct  This is correct

He eats such quickly!  Incorrect  You cannot say this

  • She sings so beautifully!  Correct  This is correct

She sings such beautifully!  Incorrect  You cannot say this

  • He speaks so eloquently.  Correct  This is correct

He speaks such eloquently.  Incorrect  You cannot say this

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