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English definition of “so”


adverb (MENTIONED EARLIER)    /səʊ/ US  /soʊ/
A2 used to avoid repeating a phrase mentioned earlier: "I hope they stay together." "I hope so too." "Do you think he's upset?" "I don't think so." James is coming tonight, or so he said. B2 used to say that a situation mentioned earlier is correct or true: "Is it true that we're not getting a pay increase this year?" "I'm afraid so." "Anthony and Mia don't get on very well." "Is that so?" "The forecast says it might rain." "If so, we'll have the party inside."Expressions used to describe situations used to say that a fact that has just been stated is certainly true: "My eyes are slightly different colours." "So they are." "That's her brother - he looks like James Dean." "So he does."Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions used instead of repeating an adjective that has already been mentioned: She's quite reasonable to work with - more so than I was led to believe. He's quite bright - well, certainly more so than his brother. US child's word used, especially by children, to argue against a negative statement: "You didn't even see the movie." "I did so!"Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions to do so C1 to act in the way mentioned: Parents must take responsibility for their children. Failure to do so could mean a fine or a jail sentence. Grammar:SoSee moreGrammar:So + adjective (so difficult), so + adverb (so slowly)We often use so when we mean ‘to such a great extent’. With this meaning, so is a degree adverb that modifies adjectives and other adverbs:See moreGrammar:So much and so manyWe use so before much, many, little and few:See moreGrammar:So as a substitute formSee moreGrammar:So am I, so do I, Neither do IWe use so with be and with modal and auxiliary verbs to mean ‘in the same way’, ‘as well’ or ‘too’. We use it in order to avoid repeating a verb, especially in short responses with pronoun subjects. When we use so in this way, we invert the verb and subject, and we do not repeat the main verb (so + verb [= v] + subject [= s]):See moreGrammar:So as a conjunctionWe use so as a subordinating conjunction to introduce clauses of result or decision:See moreGrammar:So as a discourse markerSee moreGrammar:So: other uses in speakingSo far means ‘up to now’:See moreGrammar:So and not with expect, hope, think, etc.We can use so after some verbs instead of repeating an object clause, especially in short answers. The verbs we do this with most are: appear, assume, be afraid (meaning ‘regret’), believe, expect, guess, hope, imagine, presume, reckon, seem, suppose, think:See more
(Definition of so adverb (MENTIONED EARLIER) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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