Difference Between So and Such

Main Difference – So vs. Such

So and Such are words that often give the meaning of very or to this degree. Though they have similar meanings, there is a distinct difference between the use of these two words. The main difference between so and such is that so is an adverb while such is a determiner. In this article, we are going to look at this difference between so and such in detail with examples.

So – Meaning and Usage 

We use so in a sentence when we are trying to indicate ‘very’. So can be used with adjectives and adverbs  to show extent.

So + Adjective

He is so stupid.

She is so beautiful.

So + Adverb

He runs so fast.

She does everything so well.

‘So’ can be used with ‘that’ to indicate a cause or reason. For example, in the sentence, “It is so hot that we had to switch on the AC”, the AC was activated because of the heat. Thus, ‘so’ indicates the cause here.

He was so intelligent that he could solve that maths problems in a few seconds.

It was so expensive that we couldn’t afford it.

So is always used in front of adjectives little, many, few and much to imply emphasis. For example,

You bought so many dresses.

I have so little time.

She talks so much that no one wants sit with her.
so vs such

Such – Meaning and Usage

‘Such’ also has the same meaning as ‘so’ but, the context in which it uses differ due to the differences in their grammatical forms.  We always use such in front of a noun phrase when we want to give the meaning very. Here, the noun phrase generally consists of a noun preceded by an adjective.

He is such a nice person.

It was such a difficult paper.

Like ‘so’, we can also use ‘such’ with ‘that’ to denote a cause or reason. Look at the sentences given below and note how this has been achieved.

He was such an untidy person that no one wanted to work with him.

They have such a big house that visitors often get lost inside it.

He has such a nasty temper that everyone is scared to work with him.

Such can be also used with a noun to indicate the meaning ‘this type of.’

I have never seen such foolishness.

They have never received such praise.

Difference between so and such

Difference Between So and Such

Grammatical Form

So is an adverb.

Such is a determiner.

General Usage

So is used in front of an adjective or an adverb to show the extent.

So + Adjective or So + Adverb

Such is used in front of a noun phrase to show the extent.

Such + Adjective + Noun

Usage with Nouns

So is not used with nouns.But it is used with the 4 adjectives much, many, few, little followed by nouns.

Such is used with nouns.


Image Courtesy:

“Never was so much owed by so many to so few” by H.M. Stationery Office (Public Domain) via Commons

“Freedom of Thought Ben Franklin” by k_donovan11 – Congressional Quote. (CC BY 2.0) via Commons

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