Learn the difference between ‘So’, ‘Very’ & ‘Too’


In this English lesson let’s take a quick look at some popular words that can often be used in the same way: very, too and so.

Very

In English communication the word ‘very’ is used quite often.

‘He is a very good cook.’
‘He is very good athlete.’

Also, as you can see – the position of ‘very‘ comes after the indefinite article ‘a‘.

Too

‘Too‘ is generally used to indicate something is very (!) negative.

‘It’s too cold out to play.’
‘She’s too bossy.’
“He’s too strict.’
Of course, as languages have a mind of their own, we could also say:

‘He’s too funny!’
Here we should see, due to the context – that ‘too‘ is being used in a positive manner.

So

Well I don’t know about you, but it’s too soon to stop now. Although I’m so hungry, I’m quite happy to continue writing. After all, it’s very good practice for me too!

“So” has many meanings and uses, but the one that is similar to “too” and very” is: “to this extent” or “this much” or “as much as it is.

For example, if we want someone to speak less loudly, we say:

“Don’t speak so loudly.”

Here, “so loudly” means: “as loudly as you are speaking right now.” (We do not use “too” or “very” in this situation, but we can use them in some other situations, as will be explained below.)

Other examples:
Don’t hold it so high. I can’t see it. Bring it down a bit. (“So high” = as high as you are holding it.)
How could I have been so stupid! (“so stupid” = as stupid as I was at that time in the past.)

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