English Lesson: So, Too, Very

Michael Grammar 7 Comments


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The weather is so nice today. The sun is shining very brightly and the sky is very blue. I love the summer. Well, I don’t like when it is too hot and humid. Sometimes it is so hot in New York that you can’t walk around outside for too long.  

Too, so, and very are similar words but we use them differently. In today’s lesson we will take a look at the difference between the these words. 

Too + Adjective

Too + adjective is used to show something is excessive or problematic. Too is used with negative adjectives like expensive, tired, difficult, etc. Too implies a negative feeling and perhaps an unstated negative consequence. Look at the following example:

Justin: Do you want to come to the party tonight, Mike?
Mike: Sorry, Justin. I’m too tired.
This means, I am tired, and because I am tired I won’t go out tonight. Here are some more examples:

  • My old car is too unreliable.
  • Economics is too difficult for many students.

When we want to show that because something is excessive or problematic and there is a consequence, we use too + adjective, as in the above examples. When we simply want to emphasize an adjective, we use very.

Very + Adjective
Very + adjective makes that adjective stronger. Very is used to emphasize an adjective.

  • I’m very tired today.   
  • My old car is very unreliable.
  • Economics is very difficult for many students.

Let’s compare too and very:

  • It’s very hot today. This is just a statement that the weather is hot…very hot.
  • It’s too hot today. This implies that it is hot and there is some negative feeling or problem
  • That bag is very expensive. This is just a statement that the bag costs a lot of money.
  • That bag is too expensive. This implies that the bag costs a lot of money and I cannot buy it.

 Remember,  we do not use too with positive adjectives:

  • Angelina is very beautiful. Not, Angelina is too beautiful.
  • Justin is very kind to his fans. Not, Justin is too kind to his fans.

So + Adjective
So + adjective is similar to too, but it can be used with positive or negative adjectives. So is used to show a cause and effect relationship. So is often use with that:

  • I’m so excited about my vacation that I can’t sleep.
  • Joe was so nervous when he went on his first date that he forgot to shave.
  • It’s so hot and humid that it is hard to breathe outside.

So, how was today’s lesson? I hope it wasn’t it too difficult. I’m so happy that you visited my blog today. That was very nice of you. By the way, what is the summer like where you live?
If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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