So’ has a number of different meanings and is used in different ways.

‘so’ and ‘neither’ short answers

We can use ‘so’ in short answers to mean ‘also’

  • “I like this film” “So do I.”
  • “I’m tired” “So am I.”
  • She’s got a happy face and so has he.

As in questions, the verb with ‘so’ in these short answers is the same as the auxiliary verb. If there is no auxiliary we use ‘do’.

To show negative agreement we use ‘neither’.

  • “I haven’t done the homework”. “Neither have I.”
  • “I don’t want another drink” “Neither do I.”
  • He doesn’t look very happy and neither does she.

‘so’ with certain verbs

So’ is used in place of a clause after certain verbs,

  • “Is John coming?” “I think so.”
  • “Are you going to tell him?” “I suppose so.”

As well as think and suppose we can make this kind of sentence with hopebelieve and expect.

Note that we can also say ‘I don’t think so’ but all the other verbs would use not.

  • “Is John coming?” “I hope not.”

‘so’ and ‘such’ with adjectives and nouns

So’ can be followed by an adjective

  • It’s so hot today!
  • She looks so young in that photo.

Such’ is used if there is a noun or adjective + noun.

  • It’s such a hot day today!
  • They’re such lovely trousers. Where did you buy them?

Both these ‘so’ and ‘such’ structures are often used with a ‘that’ clause

  • It was so cold that the water in the lake froze.
  • He was such a good teacher that we all passed the exam.

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