Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha.
In this lesson, I'm going to talk about the differences between "so" and "too."
Let's get started!
Okay. I want to begin with the word "so."
I'm going to introduce a few different ways that we use this word. I wanna start with using "so" as a casual emphasis word and I want to look at it before adjectives and adverbs. So, again, you can think of this, like I said, as an emphasis word. Meaning like "very" or "really."
So, examples of these are:
"I want to see a movie so badly!"
So, we can remove "so" and the sentence is grammatically correct. "So" is just adding emphasis to the word "badly" here.
Another example is:
"I'm so tired!"
I'm so tired
So again, just emphasis from "I'm tired" to "I'm so tired." I'm really tired. I'm very tired.
So this is a very basic use of "so."
We can also "so" when we're talking about amounts or degrees. So, you will see "so" used before "much" or "many," and when it's used in this way, it refers to a large amount or a large degree of something.
So, some examples of these are:
"He has so much time on his hands."
This expression, "to have time on your hands" means to have extra time, to have extra time. So, "He has so muchโ€ฆ" means he has a lot of extra time. That's what this sentence means. That's another way to say it.
One more example:
"We bought so many donuts."
So again, "so many" here means a large amount. So we bought so many donuts. You can also hear with my voice, sometimes, we extend the "so" sound to kind of increase the emphasis level. So, we bought so many donuts. So, if you really want to emphasize a huge number, you can make the O sound longer.
Also, a grammar point here, we use "much" before uncountable nouns. In this case, "time," in my example sentence. He has so much time. We use "many" with countable nouns, so in this case, "donuts." This is my countable noun. So please remember this. We can use "so" before both of these words.
Now, I want to look at the opposite.
So when we use "so" before "little" or "few," it refers to a small amount or a small degree of (something). And the same countable-uncountable noun rule applies.
Examples:
"There's so little time to do everything."
So here, little is used before "time" which is again an uncountable noun.
"There's so little time to do everything."
So this means like there's not very much time to do everything or we don't have a lot of time to do everything. Those are other ways of saying this sentence.
Another example, this time with a countable noun:
"There are so few seats in the conference room."
So, that means there are not a lot of seats in the conference room. That's another way to say this. So again, you'll notice, we use "little" before our uncountable noun and "few" before our countable noun. So this refers to a small amount of something or a small degree of something.
Of course, you could introduce a negative like "not so much" or "not so many" if you like to change it again, but these are some basic patterns that we can use to talk about amounts and degrees.
I want to finish this part of the lesson with this use of "so" which is to connect ideas. I've actually used this a couple of times in this lesson already. So, just like that, we use it to connect ideas. We can use it as a conjunction to join sentences. "So" means "therefore" or "for thisโ€ฆ" or "for that reason," for this reason or for that reason. "So," we use it a lot to connect ideas, very casually.
Some examples:
"I wanted to see a movie, so I went to the theater."
So here, we see "so" used to mean "therefore" or "for this reason" or "for that reason" I went to the theater.
Another example:
"He left his wallet in the restaurant, so I chased him down the street to return it to him."
So, these are casual ways that we use "so" to connect our ideas in sentences, but we also use it a lot as I'm doing in this lesson now to connect our ideas like when giving a presentation or kind of just transitioning in speech. You will hear "so" used a lot to do this.
Okay. Now, I want to compare "so" to "to."
So, "to" refers to an excess of something. So, you'll see this in some example sentences a bit later, but we use it in expressions like "too much" or "too many" a lot. So, this is used before adjectives and adverbs as well as we saw with "so."
For example:
"I want to see a movie, but I'm too tired tonight."
So again, we have this meaning of an excess, of too much, meaning like a negative. It kind of has a negative feel about it. So, "I'm tired," "but I'm tired," this is a grammatically correct idea, "but I'm tired tonight."
If we say, "I'm too tired tonight," it means my level of "tired" is so high, I don't want to see the movie tonight. So, "I want to do this tonight, but I'm too tired" is like my tired level is just so high, so I'm not going to do this thing. So, it's an excess.
Okay, another example:
"This computer is too slow."
So again, removing it makes the sentence grammatically correct, "This computer is slow," but "This computer is too slow" means like it's, again, an excess of slow. So it causes a problem. Maybe like, I can't do my homework because this computer is too slow. Or like, I can't do my video project because the computer is too slow. So there's a negative idea being communicated here.
We don't see this with "so." It's just an emphasis. So, "This computer is so slow," that sentence is fine, but here, we see a negative, "it's too slow." So, we'll often use this with some other idea.
For example:
"This computer is too slow, I can't do my homework."
So, there's some like, like kind of background situation that we add to our statement
One more example:
"That test was too difficult."
So, "too difficult" is like an excess, again, of difficulty. The level of difficulty was maybe unreasonable, so we could say it was too difficult. Okay.
We can also use "too," as we did with "so," when talking about amounts and degrees. We can use it before "much" or "many" and this means more than needed, more than needed. Sorry, I've left off an N here, my bad. Okay. More than needed. So, more than needed, this means, for example, we bought, I have here, "way too many donuts" means more donuts than needed, more donuts than necessary.
You also, maybe noticed this word "way."
I've added this here because this is a very common, like emphasis word we attach with "too" or we attach to "to," rather. So, "We bought too many donuts," great. So, we bought more donuts than needed, a lot more donuts than needed.
"Way" is an emphasis for "too." We cannot use "way" with "so." "Way so" is not okay. We cannot use that. We do use "way" with "too." So, "way" means like "very" or a lot. We bought too many donuts. So, "We bought way too many donuts" means like we bought an unreasonable number of donuts. It was ridiculous, it was crazy. So, "too many" means excess, again, more than we needed.
One more example:
"He has too much time on his hand."
So this is the same expression, time on his hands, that we saw over here. So, "too much time on his hands means he has an excess, like he seems to have a lot of free time, an unreasonable amount of free time. So again, this has a negative feel about it, like maybe there's a problem or maybe he's doing something strange or he's being lazy, so there's a negative feel here.
You'll also notice as well, we're following the same (much + uncountable noun "many" + countable noun) pattern here.
All right. Then let's continue to using with "little" or "few."
So, when we use it with much or many, it means more than needed, but when we use it before "little" or "few," it means "not enough," not enough. So, you'll see that both of these have a negative feel, "more than needed" and "not enough," so we need more of (something).
So let's look at these examples:
"There's too little time to do everything."
Another way to say this is "There's not enough time to do everything." So here, we use "too" with "little" and our uncountable noun "time." There's too little time. We need more time.
With our countable noun:
"We have too few seats in the conference room."
"Too few seats." Here, "few" is used with my countable noun, "seats" in this case, too few. So there are not enough seats in the conference room is another way to say this sentence.
Okay, finally, I want to mention this use, the very common use of "too" which is to express agreement, to express agreement.
Some examples are:
"Me too!"
And "You too?"
And "That too!"
So, it means "also," like for example:
"I like pizza."
"Oh yeah, me too."
You can use this as a question as well.
For example, if you say:
"I failed the test."
And your friend responds, "You too?"
It means "Also you?" as a question. You can use it in that way.
You can also use it to mean something else, "That too!" like an idea, for example. Someone gives you a good idea and another person gives you a second good idea and there's a good idea, and you can respond, "Yeah! That too!" That's a good idea too!
So these are some very common ways that we use "too" to express agreement. Keep in mind, however, that when we're expressing like negative agreement, we use "me neither" instead of "me too."
So like:
"I don't want to go to the beach tomorrow."
"Me neither."
So, remember, we use "Me too!" for positive agreements, also me.
Okay. I want to finish this lesson by doing a short comparison. So, I did some comparisons already in this part of the lesson, but I just want to show how kind of choosing one of these words can really change the feeling of a sentence.
Let's look at these two pairs.
The first pair is "I'm so tired!" and "I'm too tired."
So, as we learned, "so" is an emphasis word. It just means I'm very tired.
"Too," however, means excess of something.
So, "I'm too tired (for example) to work more today" or "I'm too tired to see a movie tonight." So, there's a negative filler. Here, "I'm so tired" doesn't mean that another thing is impossible. So, for example, "I'm so tired, but I'll see a movie tonight" is okay. If you said, "I'm too tired, but I'll see a movie tonight," it sounds really weird.
So, "too tired" sounds like the tired level is so high, I cannot do something else. So, think of this, when you're expressing like your emotions or your states in this way.
Another one. We talked quickly about it earlier. This pair is "The test was so hard" and "The test was too hard." So "hard" means difficult. We use "hard" more than difficult. So the "test was so hard" means the test was very difficult, the test was very hard, really hard. "The test was too hard" means like it was unreasonable. The difficulty level was unreasonable. It was an excess, like the test should have been easier or should not have been so difficult.
So keep this in mind when you're choosing between "too" and "so."
"So" is our simple emphasis word.
"Too" expresses excess of (something) and it has kind of a negative feel about it.
So, I hope that this helps you, especially in your writing. I've noticed this here and there in the comments, some kind of changes between these two might be a good idea sometimes. So, I hope that this helps you understand the differences between "so" and "too." If you have any questions or comments or if you want to practice making some sentences with this word, please feel free to do so in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye-bye!

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Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Wednesday at 04:08 PM
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Hello Yunique,


You're welcome.๐Ÿ˜„


'So badly' means you something very much.

You can use it like this: "I want to learn English so badly" or "I want to get a puppy so badly."


I hope this is helpful to you. ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ‘


Sincerely,

ร‰va

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yunique
Wednesday at 11:14 AM
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Thank you for your lesson.

Can I ask the meaning of "so badly" in sample sentence?

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Saturday at 09:29 AM
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Hello zoja,


You are very welcome. ๐Ÿ˜‡

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

Levente

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zoja
Saturday at 04:47 AM
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it really helped me thank you

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Sunday at 04:52 PM
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Hi there Regar and Sonia,


Glad to hear you enjoyed your lesson with us today and glad you found it valuable.

I hope we can help you to achieve your English language goals!! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„


Feel free to shoot through any questions you have throughout your studies.


Many thanks,

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Regar
Sunday at 02:29 AM
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I enjoy to learn " so vs too " it's more clear to me how to use these words, thank you so much, instead of too much.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Sonia
Saturday at 01:07 PM
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I enjoyed the lesson. Great explanation.

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Saturday at 07:26 AM
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Hello Julio,


You are very very welcome. ๐Ÿ˜‡โค๏ธ๏ธ We were so happy to read your positive message!

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We wish you good luck with your language studies.


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Saturday at 07:16 AM
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Hello Sehri,


Thank you so much for your positive message! ๐Ÿ˜‡โค๏ธ๏ธ

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We wish you good luck with your language studies.


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Saturday at 07:09 AM
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Hello Anan,


You are very welcome. ๐Ÿ˜‡

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