SO AND VERY

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SO AND VERY?

so very suchThe difference between SO and VERY can be a tricky question .  SO and VERY are both adverbs which are used to emphasize an adjective or an adverb.   In many situations, you can use either SO or VERY with no difference in meaning.

  • I’m so hungry.                                                   I’m very hungry.
  • She played so well.                                         She played very well.

USE SO AND VERY TO PROVIDE NEW INFORMATION

  • It’s so expensive.                                             It’s very expensive.
  • I’m so happy.                                                      I’m very happy.

While both SO & VERY can be used to provide new information, we typically use VERY to introduce information and then SO to emphasize the information which is already known.

  • Learning Spanish is very easy.  I didn’t think it would be so easy.
  • We had a very good holiday.  We saw so much.

NOTE:  So cannot be followed by a noun, we must use SUCH instead.

  • He’s very talkative.      He’s a very, talkative guy.
  • He’s so talkative.          He’s so a talkative guy.   He’s SUCH a talkative guy.

USE SO NOT VERY IN THAT CLAUSES TO EMPHASIZE THE RESULT – SO…..THAT

  • It was so windy that I couldn’t use my umbrella.
  • The English lesson was so interesting that I was surprised when it was finished.
  • The food was so good that I ate too much.

USE SO IN SHORT ANSWERS TO AGREE (AND AVOID REPETITION)

  • Will he come to the party?  I hope so.   NOT  I hope very.
  • Is the supermarket open on Sundays?  I believe so.  NOT I believe very.
  • Did we lose the match?  I’m afraid so.  NOT I’m afraid very.

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