Difference between SO and SUCH

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Difference between SO and SUCH

  • The structure for so and such
  • Structure for such
  • Let’s practice with sentences that contain so
  • Let’s practice with such
  • summary

In this article we discuss the difference between SO and SUCH. We use “so”  (tan, así, entonces) and “such” (semejante, tal, tan, tanto) to add emphasis, show extreme feelings or to give an opinion on something. The difference between the two is in how we use them in the formation of sentences.

If you are learning English, you may have a tendency to confuse one with the other. Sometimes you use it instead of such and vice versa.

But the best thing is that you do not panic, because you are not the only one. In this regard, we can tell you that in English classes there are regularly students who also invert them because both “so” and “such” are translated as so, but they are used in a very different way, which causes many headaches for students of English.

The structures for so and such

So: noun + so + adjective

  • The day is so cold (that*) we can’t go skating.

(Es un día tan frío que no podemos ir a patinar).

  • My flat is so clean (that*) you could eat on the floor. 

(Mi piso está tan limpio que podrías comer en el suelo).

  • She was so angry with him that she didn’t talk to him for a whole week.

(Estaba tan enojada con él que no habló con él durante toda una semana).

  • This book is so interesting that I can’t put it down for a minute.

(Este libro es tan interesante que no puedo dejarlo ni un minuto)

so + adverb + (that) + clause

 We use so followed by adverbs:

  • The man spoke so quickly that I couldn’t quite understand what he was saying.

(El hombre habló tan rápido que no pude entender muy bien lo que estaba diciendo).

  • That guy was driving so fast that he lost control when trying to turn.

(Ese tipo conducía tan rápido que perdió el control al intentar girar).

so + few/many/little/much + noun + (that) + clause

We use so followed by a noun only when we use the quantifiers few / many / little / much:

  • There were so few people that the place seemed almost empty. (countable noun)

Había tan poca gente que el lugar parecía casi vacío. (sustantivo cuantificable)

  • There were so many people that I found it difficult to breathe. (countable noun).

(Había tanta gente que me costaba respirar. (sustantivo cuantificable)).

  • Rachel had so little money that she couldn’t catch the bus. (uncountable noun).

(Rachel tenía tan poco dinero que no podía coger el autobús. (sustantivo incontable)).

  • The tsunami had caused so much damage that the city had to be rebuil.

(El tsunami ha causado tantos daños que la ciudad tiene que ser reconstruida).

Structures for such:

 pronoun + such + article + adjective + noun

  • It’s such a good movie (that*) I saw it twice.

(Es una película tan buena que la vi dos veces).

  • They’re such a nice family (that*) I spent Christmas with them.

(Son una familia tan maja que pasé la Navidad con ellos).

such + (adjective) + uncountable/plural noun + (that) + clause

We use such with uncountable or plural nouns:

(plural noun)

  • here are such bad politicians in Suede that the country is now facing a deep crisis.

(Aquí hay políticos tan malos en Suecia que el país se enfrenta ahora a una profunda crisis.)

(uncountable noun)

  • He felt such guilt for what he’d done that he ended up committing suicide.

(Se sintió tan culpable por lo que había hecho que terminó suicidándose).

We use such a lot of with uncountable or plural nouns:

  • Some people have such a lot of money that they could afford to buy a different car every day. (uncountable noun)

(Algunas personas tienen tanto dinero que podrían permitirse comprar un automóvil diferente todos los días. (Sustantivo incontable)).

  • There were such a lot of people that I could hardly breathe. (countable noun)

(Había tanta gente que apenas podía respirar. (Sustantivo cuantificable)).

That can be omitted, especially if it is a colloquial conversation:

Let’s practice with sentences that contain so .

Estas gafas  son tan buenas que lo veo todo perfectamente. These glasses are so good (that) I see everything perfectly.
Ellos son tan rápido que me llegué último. They are so fast (that) I came last

Now let’s practice with such

Es un cuadro tan raro que no lo entendí it’s such a strange painting that I didn’t understand it

Both together

Son tan rápidos y son personas tan eficaces que son los mejores. They are so fast and they are such effective people (that) they are the best.
fuimos tan rápidos pero somos gentes tan fuertes que podremos ser buenos corredores. We were so fast but we are such strong people (that we can be good runners.

Rather, the difference between so and such is in the sentence construction you should use with each.

Use it in front of an adjective or adverb:

  • This video is so funny!

¡Este vídeo es tan divertido!

  • She’s so good at maths.

(Ella es tan buena en matemáticas).

  • They draw so well!

(¡Dibujan tan bien!)

  • You sing so beautifully.

(Cantas tan hermosamente).

  • He drives so slowly, I don’t know what time we’ll get there!

(¡Conduce tan lento que no sé a qué hora llegaremos!)

As you can see, SO and SUCH can be synonymous, but they are not used in the same structures. Simple as that!

Summary :

Difference between SO and SUCH:

  • SO is used with adjectives, adverbs, and nouns with few / many / little / much.
  • SUCH is used only with nouns.

Once again, we do not want to stop reminding you that on this platform you can see all the available calls for any official exam.

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