'Such' and 'So' Differences in Grammar for ESL Learners

Structures using 'such' and 'so' are similar in meaning, but different in construction. The main difference between the two structures is that 'such' takes a noun phrase, whereas 'so' takes an adjective.

'Such … that'

'Such … that' takes a noun or modified noun in a noun phrase. 'That' can be used following the noun phrase but is not required.​​

such + adjective + noun + (that)


  • The recording was such a disappointment that I didn't buy any more from that artist.
  • It was such an expensive car that the didn't buy it.

'So … that'

'So … that' takes an adjective. 'That' can be used following the noun phrase but is not required.

So + adjective + (that)


  • The game was so fascinating (that) he played for hours.
  • Our vacation apartment was so luxurious (that) we didn't want to leave.

'So' for Results

'So' can also be used to express a result. In this case 'so' is followed by a full clause:


  • I had a lot of time so I visited the museum.
  • She wasn't happy in her current position so she looked for a new job.