Thursday, April 12

So vs. Such

This is the second part of my topic last week “How vs. What.”

If you still haven’t read the first topic, kindly click the link below:

Today we’re gonna talk about “So” and “Such” ...

So” and “Such” are Adverbs. Like “How” and “What,” they are used to talk about a high degree or extent.


Time flies so fast!

It’s such a hassle! (bother)

It’s such a hot day!  

You look so lovely!

These four words (How, What, So and Such) are very similar to one another so learners usually mix them up.

Let’s try and set them apart…

First of all, the four words talk about the same meaning of high degree or extent. But in the case of “What” and “How,” they are especially considered as Intensifiers.

This means that “What” and “How” are used in exclamations. (= sentences that express strong feelings.)

For example,

1.       How lovely!

2.       What a waste!

3.       How cheap!

4.       What a cute kitten!

Exclamations are also short (with no Subject and Verb).

On the other hand, “So” and “Such” are considered as Adverbs.

This means that although we can use So and Such for exclamations (strong-feeling, short sentences) we also use them for less emotional expressions.

In other words, normal sentences.

For example,

1.       She has such a nice character.

2.       It’s so far from here.

3.       It is such an honor to finally meet you.

4.       He’s so smart.

In fact, both exclamations and normal sentences are possible in the case of So and Such. But it is more common to use How and What for exclamations.  

Such + Have Never

The AdverbSuch” is also usually combined with the Present Perfect Tense (Have P.P.) to talk about experience.


Because Have P.P. - especially “Have Never P.P.” - means somebody’s whole life. So it talks about a high degree or extent.

For example,

I’ve never met such a nice family. (means: They're so nice.) 

I’ve never eaten such delicious cake! (means: It's so delicious!) 

I’ve never seen such a beautiful view! (means: It's so beautiful!) 

I’ve never dreamed of such happiness. (means: I'm so happy)

So and Such: What’s the Difference?

Similar to How and What, So and Such are different this way:

So + Adjective/ Adverb

Such + Noun

Again, you might think that this combination is possible:

Such + Adjective

I’m sorry to tell you but the combination above is wrong and absolutely impossible.

These are all incorrect:

Such beautiful. = X

It’s such dangerous. = X

We are such hungry. = X

The mistakes above happen among learners of English because they misunderstand this example:

She is such a sweet child.

The sentence above is in fact right. But when students look at the sentence, they see that Such is followed by an Adjective. That’s why they think “Such + Adjective” is correct.

This idea is wrong.

If you look again at the sentence above, the pattern is not really an Adjective. Instead:

Such + (Adjective) Noun

Like I said, the pattern to use Such is together with a Noun. This is true all the time.

In fact, the Adjective in the example is just an extra word. The Noun there is more important. It's the real reason why we put Such.

Please avoid making this mistake:

It is such high. = X

Please use “So” :

It’s so high. = Ok

Or, you can add a Noun:

It’s such a high building. = Ok

* By the way, Countable and Uncountable Nouns determine whether we put “a” after “Such.”


Such a charming furniture. = X

Such charming furniture. = Ok

This is because “furniture” is Uncountable.

So + Noun?

In the same way, you cannot say:

Ex. She is so beautiful girl. = X

Why? Because there is in fact a Noun in your sentence.

To correct you sentence, you can say:

A.       She is so beautiful. (=Ok)

-          Or –

B.       She is such a beautiful girl. (=Ok)

As you can see, the rules are very strong and they work both ways. So please tattoo them in your mind ;-)

So + Adjective/ Adverb

- While -

Such + Noun

In fact, it’s possible to use other Adverbs like this:


She is a very beautiful girl. = Ok

She is a really beautiful girl. = Ok

She is an absolutely beautiful girl. = Ok


She is a so beautiful girl. = X

Hope you learned something!



  1. yes, I got the difference between these words. Thank you.

    1. You're welcome, Mohammad! Glad I could help. Good luck with your English study!


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