so

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English so, swo, from Old English swā (so, as, the same, such, that), from Proto-Germanic *swa, *swē (so), from Proto-Indo-European *swē, *swō (reflexive pronomial stem). Cognate with Scots sae (so), West Frisian sa (so), Low German so (so), Dutch zo (so), German so (so), Danish (so), Old Latin suad (so), Albanian sa (how much, so, as), Ancient Greek ὡς (hōs, as).

Pronunciation[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

so

  1. In order that.
    Eat your broccoli so you can have dessert.
  2. With the result that; for that reason; therefore.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ […].” So I started to back away again into the bushes. But I hadn't backed more'n a couple of yards when I see something so amazing that I couldn't help scooching down behind the bayberries and looking at it.
    I was hungry so I asked if there were more food.   He ate too much cake, so he got sick.   He wanted a book, so he went to the library.   “I need to go to the bathroom.” So go!”
  3. (archaic) Provided that; on condition that, as long as.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.18:
      As we cal money not onely that which is true and good, but also the false; so it be currant.
    • John Milton
      Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength.

Usage notes[edit]

Chiefly in North American use, a comma or pause is often used before the conjunction when used in the sense with the result that. (A similar meaning can often be achieved by using a semicolon or colon (without the so), as for example: He drank the poison; he died.)

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

so (not comparable)

  1. To the (explicitly stated) extent that.
    It was so hot outside that all the plants died.
    He was so good, they hired him on the spot.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ […].” So I started to back away again into the bushes. But I hadn't backed more'n a couple of yards when I see something so amazing that I couldn't help scooching down behind the bayberries and looking at it.
    • 1963, Mike Hawker, Ivor Raymonde (music and lyrics), Dusty Springfield (vocalist), I Only Want to Be with You (single),
      Don′t know what it is that makes me love you so, / I only know I never want to let you go.
  2. (informal) To the (implied) extent.
    I need a piece of cloth so long. [= this long]
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, The Celebrity:
      We drove back to the office with some concern on my part at the prospect of so large a case. Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke.
    • 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845: 
      Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. The machine gun is so much more lethal than the bow and arrow that comparisons are meaningless.
    1. (informal) Very (positive clause).
      He is so good!
      • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter 1, The Purchase Price:
        Captain Edward Carlisle [] felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, [] ; he could not tell what this prisoner might do. He cursed the fate which had assigned such a duty, cursed especially that fate which forced a gallant soldier to meet so superb a woman as this under handicap so hard.
    2. (informal) Very (negative clause).
      It’s not so bad. [i.e. it's acceptable]
    3. (slang, chiefly US) Very much.
      But I so want to see the Queen when she visits our town!
      That is so not true!
      • 1879, Richard Jefferies, chapter 1, The Amateur Poacher:
        Molly the dairymaid came a little way from the rickyard, and said she would pluck the pigeon that very night after work. She was always ready to do anything for us boys; and we could never quite make out why they scolded her so for an idle hussy indoors.
  3. In a particular manner.
    Place the napkin on the table just so.
  4. In the same manner or to the same extent as aforementioned; also.
    Just as you have the right to your free speech, so I have the right to mine.
    Many people say she's pretty, but I don't think so.
    "I can count backwards from one hundred." ―"So can I."
    • 1883, Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood Chapter V
      "Good morrow to thee, jolly fellow," quoth Robin, "thou seemest happy this merry morn."
      "Ay, that am I," quoth the jolly Butcher, "and why should I not be so? Am I not hale in wind and limb? Have I not the bonniest lass in all Nottinghamshire? And lastly, am I not to be married to her on Thursday next in sweet Locksley Town?"
    • 2012 May 19, Paul Fletcher, “Blackpool 1-2 West Ham”, BBC Sport:
      It was a goal that meant West Ham won on their first appearance at Wembley in 31 years, in doing so becoming the first team since Leicester in 1996 to bounce straight back to the Premier League through the play-offs.
  5. (with as): To such an extent or degree; as.
    so far as, so long as, so much as

Usage notes[edit]

Use of so in the sense to the implied extent is discouraged in formal writing; spoken intonation which might render the usage clearer is not usually apparent to the reader, who might reasonably expect the extent to be made explicit. For example, the reader may expect He is so good to be followed by an explanation or consequence of how good he is. Devices such as use of underscoring and the exclamation mark may be used as a means of clarifying that the implicit usage is intended; capitalising SO is also used. The derivative subsenses very and very much are similarly more apparent with spoken exaggerated intonation.

The difference between so and very in implied-extent usage is that very is more descriptive or matter-of-fact, while so indicates more emotional involvement. This so is used by both men and women, but more frequently by women. For example, she is very pretty is a simple statement of fact; she is so pretty suggests admiration. Likewise, that is very typical is a simple statement; that is SO typical of him! is an indictment. A formal (and reserved) apology may be expressed I am very sorry, but after elbowing someone in the nose during a basketball game, a man might say, Dude, I am so sorry! in order to ensure that it's understood as an accident.[1]

References[edit]
  1. ^ Mark Liberman, "Ask Language Log: So feminine?", 2012 March 26

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Adjective[edit]

so (comparative more so, superlative most so)

  1. True, accurate.
    That is so.
    You are responsible for this, is that not so?
  2. In that state or manner; with that attribute. (replaces the aforementioned adjective phrase)
    • 1823, Andrew Reed, Martha
      If this separation was painful to all parties, it was most so to Martha.
    • 1872, Charles Dickens, J., The Personal History of David Copperfield
      But if I had been more fit to be married, I might have made you more so too.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, chapter 2, The Ivory Gate:
      At twilight in the summer [] the mice come out. They [] eat the luncheon crumbs. Mr. Checkly, for instance, always brought his dinner in a paper parcel in his coat-tail pocket, and ate it when so disposed, sprinkling crumbs lavishly [] on the floor.
  3. (dated, UK, slang) Homosexual.
    Is he so?

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Interjection[edit]

so

  1. Used after a pause for thought to introduce a new topic, question or story.
    So, let's go home.
    So, what'll you have?
    So, there was this squirrel stuck in the chimney...
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 11, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      So, after a spell, he decided to make the best of it and shoved us into the front parlor. 'Twas a dismal sort of place, with hair wreaths, and wax fruit, and tin lambrekins, and land knows what all.
  2. Short for so what.
    "You park your car in front of my house every morning." — "So?"
  3. Be as you are; stand still; used especially to cows; also used by sailors.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

so (plural sos)

  1. (music) A syllable used in solfège to represent the fifth note of a major scale.

Translations[edit]

Abbreviation[edit]

so

  1. someone

Synonyms[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Asturian[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin sub.

Preposition[edit]

so

  1. under
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin suus (his, her, its)

Adjective[edit]

so m sg (feminine singular so, neuter singular so, masculine plural sos, feminine plural sos)

  1. his, her, its
  2. your (polite)
  3. their

Pronoun[edit]

so

  1. his, hers
  2. yours (polite)

Related terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

so

  1. first-person singular present indicative of ser

Basque[edit]

Noun[edit]

so

  1. look

Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin sonus.

Noun[edit]

so m (plural sons)

  1. sound

Derived terms[edit]


Danish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse sýr, from Proto-Germanic *sūz, from Proto-Indo-European *sū-.

Noun[edit]

so c (singular definite soen, plural indefinite søer)

  1. sow
  2. (pejorative) slut

Inflection[edit]


Elfdalian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse svá, from Proto-Germanic *swa, *swē. Cognate with Swedish .

Adverb[edit]

so

  1. so, like that, in that manner
  2. so, to such a degree

Esperanto[edit]

Noun[edit]

so (plural so-oj, accusative singular so-on, accusative plural so-ojn)

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter S/s.

See also[edit]


Faroese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse svá, from Proto-Germanic *swa, *swē (so), from Proto-Indo-European *swē, *swō (reflexive pronomial stem).

Adverb[edit]

so

  1. so, thus, as
  2. then

Friulian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin suus.

Pronoun[edit]

so (third-person singular possessive of masculine singular, of feminine singular , of masculine plural siei, of feminine plural sôs)

  1. (used attributively) his, her, its; of his, hers, its
  2. (used predicatively) his, hers, its
  3. (used substantively) his, hers, its; the thing belonging to him, her,it

See also[edit]


German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old High German , from Proto-Germanic *swa, *swē.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

so

  1. so, that
    Die Leute sind so nett. ― People are so nice.
    Dieser Hammer ist nicht so gut. ― This hammer is not that good.
  2. as (followed by an adjective or adverb plus wie in a statement of equality)
    Er rennt so schnell wie der Blitz. ― He runs as fast as lightning.
  3. thus, like this/that, in this/that way, in this/that manner
    Wenn du den Ball so wirfst, triffst du die Zielscheibe.
    If you throw the ball like this, you'll hit the target.
  4. (colloquial) expletive; sometimes intensifying, sometimes with no noticeable meaning
    Wir sind runtergegangen und haben uns hier so hingesetzt.
    We went downstairs and sat down here.

Derived terms[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

so

  1. (archaic) an, if
    So es Euch beliebt. ― If it please you.

Pronoun[edit]

so

  1. (obsolete, relative) that, which, who
    Derhalben sind die Christen schuldig, der Obrigkeit unterthan [...] zu seyn in Allem, so ohne Sünde geschehen mag. (Augsburger Bekenntnis)
    That do the Christians owe: to be obedient to the authority [...] in all that may be done without sin.

Gothic[edit]

Romanization[edit]

  1. Romanization of 𐍃𐍉

Italian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

so

  1. (I) know (first-person singular present tense of sapere)
    Non lo sai? (Don't you know (it)?)
    — Non lo so. (I don't know (it).)
    — Lo so io! (But I do (know it)!)

Usage notes[edit]

Unlinke English, Italian verb forms for first/second/third-person are different, rendering "io" redundant, unless emphasis is required as shown in last example above.


Japanese[edit]

Romanization[edit]

so

  1. rōmaji reading of
  2. rōmaji reading of

Lojban[edit]

Lojban cardinal numbers
bi so pano
    Cardinal : so

Cmavo[edit]

so (rafsi soz)

  1. (cardinal) nine

Luxembourgish[edit]

Verb[edit]

so

  1. second-person singular imperative of soen

Middle Dutch[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Dutch , from Proto-Germanic *swa.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

  1. so, like that, in that manner
  2. so, to such a degree
  3. (so ... alse) as
  4. then, in that case
  5. so, therefore

Conjunction[edit]

  1. if, in the case that
  2. like, as
  3. (so ... so) both ... and

Descendants[edit]

  • Dutch: zo

Etymology 2[edit]

Weakened form of soe.

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

  1. (chiefly East and West Flanders) Alternative form of si. (feminine singular)

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (main form)

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse svá, from Proto-Germanic *swa.

Adverb[edit]

so (bracket form)

  1. so, that
    Eg visste ikkje at dei skulle vera so mange.
    I didn't know that they were going to be that many.

References[edit]


Old Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *swa.

Adverb[edit]

  1. so, like that, in that manner

Descendants[edit]

  • Middle Dutch: so
    • Dutch: zo

Old Irish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Celtic *so (this), from Proto-Indo-European *só.

Alternative forms[edit]

Determiner[edit]

so

  1. this (used after the noun, which is preceded by the definite article)
    ind epistil so – "this epistle"

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]


Old Saxon[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *swa.

Adverb[edit]

  1. so, like that, in that manner

Descendants[edit]

  • Low German: so

Romani[edit]

Adverb[edit]

so

  1. what

Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *solь, from Proto-Indo-European *seh₂ls.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

f (Cyrillic spelling со̑)

  1. (Bosnian, Serbian) salt

Declension[edit]


Slovak[edit]

Preposition[edit]

so + instrumental

  1. with

Synonyms[edit]


Slovene[edit]

Verb[edit]

so

  1. third-person plural present tense form of biti.

Spanish[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin sub.

Preposition[edit]

so

  1. under
Usage notes[edit]

So is very rare in modern Spanish, surviving only in certain expressions, including so pena de (on pain of, under penalty of), so pretexto de or so color de (under pretext of), a so capa (secretly, with bribery).

Pronoun[edit]

so

  1. you (emphatic, derogatory)
    • ¡So tonto! — You blithering idiot!

Etymology 2[edit]

From English so.

Interjection[edit]

so

  1. (United States, Puerto Rico, El Salvador) so

Etymology 3[edit]

Interjection[edit]

so

  1. woah!

Swedish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse sýr, from Proto-Germanic *sūz, from Proto-Indo-European *sū-.

Noun[edit]

so c

  1. (rare) sow, female pig

Synonyms[edit]

Declension[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

  • The more common synonym is sugga, especially for the plural form.

Volapük[edit]

Adverb[edit]

so

  1. so

Welsh[edit]

Verb[edit]

so

  1. (colloquial, South Wales) second-person singular present negative of bod
  2. (colloquial, South Wales) third-person singular present negative of bod
    So e’n credu. ― He doesn’t think so.
  3. (colloquial, South Wales) first-person plural present negative of bod
  4. (colloquial, South Wales) second-person plural present negative of bod
  5. (colloquial, South Wales) third-person plural present negative of bod

Usage notes[edit]

Unlike other negative verb forms, this form—and sa, which is used for the first-person singular—is not complemented by ddim after the subject.


Zulu[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

-so

  1. Combining stem of lona.

See also[edit]