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  1. KenH ESL
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    #1

    Question using so

    I teach ESL to adults. What are the "rules" for using "so"?

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    #2

    Re: using so

    Quote Originally Posted by KenH ESL View Post
    I teach ESL to adults. What are the "rules" for using "so"?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Ken.

    (1) "So" is one of my favorite words, so may I share some ideas?

    (a) I have just used it as a coordinating conjunction.

    (b) Americans use it that way a lot.

    (2) I am going early so I can get a good seat.

    (a) Many strict teachers require "so that" -- subordinating conjunction of purpose.

    (3) I went early yesterday, so I got a good seat.

    (a) Many strict teachers require "so that" -- subordinating conjunction of result.

    (4) SUPER strict teachers (there may be a few left) say that "so"

    is not a conjunction. Only an adverb. Thus they require:

    (a) I was sick yesterday; so I didn't go to work.

    (b) I was sick yesterday. So I didn't go to work.

    (c) Of course, I would guess that 99% of people would write:

    I was sick yesterday, so I didn't go to work. (coordinating conjunction)

    That is probably the best thing to teach ESL students (and native speakers, too).

    Have a nice day!


    *****

    Of course, "so" is not always a coordinating conjunction.

    (a) I was SO tired (THAT I couldn't keep my eyes open).

    (i) "So" is an adverb that modifies "tired."

    (ii) "that I couldn't keep my eyes open" is an adverb clause that modifies "so."

    *****

    Will Tom come?

    I think so.

    (a) "So" = a noun clause (that Tom will come).

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