Definitionspronunciation note: Usually pronounced (soʊ
) for meanings [sense 1], , [sense 6], , [sense 7], , [sense 8], , [sense 9], , [sense 16] and , [sense 17].
1. adverb [ADV after v] You use so to refer back to something that has just been mentioned. ⇒ 'Do you think that made much of a difference to the family?'—'I think so.' ⇒ If you can't play straight, then say so. ⇒ 'Is he the kind of man who can be as flexible as he needs to be?'—' Well, I hope so.' ⇒ Almost all young women who turn to prostitution do so as a means of survival. 2. adverb You use so when you are saying that something which has just been said about one person or thing is also true of another one. ⇒ I enjoy Ann's company and so does Martin. ⇒ They had a wonderful time and so did I. ⇒ The police arrived, and so did reporters and a photographer from the 'Journal'. 3. coordinating conjunction & conjunction You use the structures as...so and just as...so when you want to indicate that two events or situations are similar in some way. ⇒ As computer systems become even more sophisticated, so too do the methods of those who exploit the technology. ⇒ Just as John has changed, so has his wife. ⇒ Just as the teacher plays the role of leader in the classroom, so does the headteacher play a leadership role in the school. 4. adverb [v-link ADV] If you say that a state of affairs is so, you mean that it is the way it has been described. ⇒ Gold has been a poor investment over the past 20 years, and will continue to be so. ⇒ In those days English dances as well as songs were taught at school, but that seems no longer to be so. ⇒ It is strange to think that he held strong views on many things, but it must have been so. 5. adverb [ADV after v] You can use so with actions and gestures to show a person how to do something, or to indicate the size, height, or length of something. ⇒ Clasp the chain like so. ⇒ ...holding the champagne glass with long red nails positioned just so. 6. subordinating conjunction & conjunction
You use so and so that to introduce the result of the situation you have just mentioned. ⇒ I am not an emotional type and so cannot bring myself to tell him I love him. ⇒ People are living longer than ever before, so even people who are 65 or 70 have a surprising amount of time left. ⇒ I was an only child, and so had no experience of large families. ⇒ There was snow everywhere, so that the shape of things was difficult to identify.
7. subordinating conjunction & conjunction You use so, so that, and so as to introduce the reason for doing the thing that you have just mentioned. ⇒ Come to my suite so I can tell you all about this wonderful play I saw in Boston. ⇒ He took her arm and hurried her upstairs so that they wouldn't be overheard. ⇒ I was beginning to feel alarm, but kept it to myself so as not to worry our two friends. 8. adverb You can use so in stories and accounts to introduce the next event in a series of events or to suggest a connection between two events. ⇒ The woman asked if he could perhaps mend her fences, and so he stayed. ⇒ She was free for five whole days, from Christmas Eve. And so she would be going to Charles, to join her family. ⇒ I thought, 'Here's someone who'll understand me.' So I wrote to her. ⇒ He said he'd like to meet Sharon. So I said all right. ⇒ And so Christmas passed. 9. adverb You can use so in conversations to introduce a new topic, or to introduce a question or comment about something that has been said. ⇒ So how was your day? ⇒ So you're a runner, huh? ⇒ So as for your question, Miles, the answer still has to be no. ⇒ So, as I said to you, natural medicine is also known as holistic medicine. ⇒ And so, to answer your question, that's why your mother is disappointed. ⇒ 'I didn't find him funny at all.'—'So you won't watch the show again then?' ⇒ 'They're slow, heavy and cost a fortune.'—'So how have these motorbikes become a fashion statement?' 10. adverb You can use so in conversations to show that you are accepting what someone has just said. ⇒ 'It makes me feel, well, important.'—'And so you are.' ⇒ 'You can't possibly use this word.'—'So I won't.'. ⇒ 'You know who Diana was, Grandfather.'—'So I do!' ⇒ 'Why, this is nothing but common vegetable soup!'—'So it is, madam.' ⇒ 'The car, Annie,' said Max rather grimly.—'So okay, the car. What about it?' 11. convention You say 'So?' and 'So what?' to indicate that you think that something that someone has said is unimportant. [informal] ⇒ 'My name's Bruno.'—'So?' ⇒ 'You take a chance on the weather if you holiday in the U.K.'—'So what?' ⇒ I enjoy someone telling me I'm wonderful, but part of me thinks, 'So what? You won't say that tomorrow.' 12. adverb [ADV adj/adv] You can use so in front of adjectives and adverbs to emphasize the quality that they are describing. [emphasis] ⇒ 'I am so afraid,' Francis thought. ⇒ He was surprised they had married–they had seemed so different. ⇒ What is so compromising about being an employee of the state? 13. adverb [ADV adj that]
You can use so...that and so...as to emphasize the degree of something by mentioning the result or consequence of it. [emphasis] ⇒ The tears were streaming so fast she could not see. ⇒ The deal seems so attractive it would be ridiculous to say no. ⇒ Frescoes are so familiar a feature of Italian churches that it is easy to take them for granted. ⇒ He's not so daft as to listen to rumours.
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