Tag Archives: very

#EngClass: ‘Very’ vs. ‘So’ (REVISIT)

This article is a revisit and rewritten version of #EngClass: “very” vs “so” (2012).

“The weather is very hot.”
“The weather is so hot.”
“The weather is so very hot.”

Is there any difference in using ‘very’ and ‘so’ in a sentence?

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1. Adverb of degree
As adverbs of degree/degree adverbs, also known as intensifier (adverbs that tell us the intensity of a state), both ‘very’ and ‘so’ can be used interchangeably. They are followed by adjectives or adverbs.

Example:
Followed by adjective
“The painting is very beautiful.”
“The painting is so beautiful.”

Followed by adverb
“The painting is very nicely done.”
“The painting is so nicely done.”

NOTE:
Some would argue that ‘so’ signifies more intensity than ‘very,’ whilst I personally think that ‘very’ is more intense. Regardless, both uses are correct. However, whilst ‘very’ can be followed by adjective + noun, rarely do we find such use for ‘so.’

Example:
“That is a very beautiful painting.” (common)
“That is a so beautiful painting.” (uncommon)

We can fix the second sentence by moving the article (a/an), but even so, replacing ‘so’ with ‘such’ is more common.

Example:
“That is so beautiful a painting.” (correct, but less common, unless followed by another clause. See point 2: cause and effect)
“That is such a beautiful painting.” (correct and common)

What about ‘so very?’ This form is used to further intensify the situation.
“I’m so very worried about you.”

2. Cause and effect
Even though ‘so… that’ is more commonly used to introduce cause and effect, we can also use ‘very,’ ‘such,’ and ‘too,’ to some extent.

Example:
“The painting was so beautiful that we couldn’t look away.”
“The painting was very beautiful that we couldn’t look away.”

I hope you feel confident now using ‘very’ and ‘so’. Remember that their roles as adverbs of degree or intensifier can be replaced with a more suitable adjective.

Example:
Very/so pretty = beautiful.
Very/so bad = terrible
Very/so cute = adorable, etc.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 10 April 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: “very” vs “so”
#EngClass: Intensifiers
#EngVocab: Substitutes of ‘Very’
#EngVocab: What to Say Instead of Using ‘Very’ (2)
#GrammarTrivia: Expressing Cause and Effect with “Such… That” and “So… That”

#EngVocab: Substitutes of ‘very’ (2)

How often do you use the word ‘very’? How many times have you used it today alone?

To intensify or emphasis on an adjective, we often use the word ‘very‘ in front of the adjective. For example:

  • very good,
  • very bad,
  • very funny,
  • very slow,
  • etc.

However, do you know that there are some words to substitutes ‘very’? We’ll share a few this evening. Check them out!

  1. Very afraid – terrified.
    • Example:
      • I have no idea why anyone would be terrified of snakes. They’re so cuddly.
      • I have no idea why anyone would be very afraid of snakes. They’re so cuddly.
  2. Very boring – dull.
    • Example:
      • My life’s dull without you.
      • My life’s very boring without you.
  3. Very clear – obvious.
    • Example:
      • She made it obvious that she won’t be staying.
      • She made it very clear that she won’t be staying.
  4. Very dear – cherished.
    • Example:
      • A cherished friend of mine is getting married this Sunday.
      • A very dear friend of mine is getting married this Sunday.
  5. Very eager – keen.
    • Example:
      • The kids were keen to go swimming.
      • The kids were very eager to go swimming.
  6. Very frightening – terrifying.
    • Example:
      • There was a terrifying accident at the airport toll just last week.
      • There was a very frightening accident at the airport toll just last week.
  7. Very hungry – starving.
    • Example:
      • I never have time for dinner and always come home starving.
      • I never have time for dinner and always come home (feeling) very hungry.
  8. Very mean – cruel.
    • Example:
      • Even a lioness would never be cruel to her cubs.
      • Even a lioness would never be very mean to her cubs.
  9. Very old – ancient.
    • Example:
      • The book looked ancient, so he handled it carefully.
      • The book looked very old, so he handled it carefully.
  10. Very short – brief.
    • Example:
      • It’s getting late. Let’s keep the meeting brief.
      • It’s getting late. Let’s keep the meeting very short.

There go all 10 substitutes of ‘very’ for now, fellas! I hope the examples are clear enough. Otherwise, mention us to ask.

There are many more to come and I promise to share more in future sessions and articles. Meanwhile, also check out the first installment: #EngVocab: Substitutes of ‘very’

 

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, April 22, 2017

 

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