|so 1 (s)|adv.
1. In the condition or manner expressed or indicated; thus: Hold the brush so.
2. To the amount or degree expressed or understood; to such an extent: She was so weary that she fell.
3. To a great extent; to such an evident degree: But the idea is so obvious.
4. Because of the reason given; consequently: She was weary and so fell.
5. Afterward; then: to the gas station and so home.
6. In the same way; likewise: You were on time and so was I.
7. Apparently; well, then. Used in expressing astonishment, disapproval, or sarcasm: So you think youve got troubles?
8. In truth; indeed: You arent right. I am so!
1. True; factual: I wouldnt have told you this if it werent so.
2. In good order: Everything on his desk must be exactly so.
conj. Usage Problem
1. With the result or consequence that: He failed to appear, so we went on without him.
2. In order that: I stayed so I could see you.
Such as has already been suggested or specified; the same: She became a loyal friend and remained so.
Used to express surprise or comprehension: So! Youve finished your work at last.
so as to
In order to: Mail your package early so as to ensure its timely arrival.
1. In order that: I stopped so that you could catch up.
2. With the result or consequence that.
Used to express contempt or lack of interest.
[Middle English, from Old English sw
; see swo-
in Indo-European roots.]
Many critics and grammarians have insisted that so
must be followed by that
in formal writing when used to introduce a clause giving the reason for or purpose of an action: He stayed so that he could see the second feature.
But since many respected writers use so
for so that
in formal writing, it seems best to consider the issue one of stylistic preference: The store stays open late so
(or so that
) people who work all day can buy groceries.
· Both so
and so that
are acceptably used to introduce clauses that state a result or consequence: The Bay Bridge was still closed, so
(or so that
) the drive from San Francisco to the Berkeley campus took an hour and a half.
is frequently used in informal speech to string together the elements of a narrative. In most cases, this practice should not be carried over into formal writing, where readers need connections to be made more explicit. · Critics have sometimes objected to the use of so
as an intensive meaning to a great degree or extent, as in We were so relieved to learn that the deadline had been extended.
This usage is most common in informal contexts, perhaps because, unlike the neutral very,
it presumes that the listener or reader will be sympathetic to the speakers evaluation of the situation. Thus one would be more apt to say It was so unfair of them not to invite you
than to say It was so fortunate that I didnt have to put up with your company.
For just this reason, the construction may occasionally be used to good effect in more formal contexts to invite the reader to take the point of view of the speaker or subject: The request seemed to her to be quite reasonable; it was so unfair of the manager to refuse.
See Usage Note at as1
Regional Note: New England speakers often use a negative form such as so didnt where other varieties would use the positive so did, as in Sophie ate all her strawberries and so didnt Amelia. Since this usage may confuse a speaker who has not previously encountered it, it is best avoided in writing.