So+adjective… that

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We can use ‘so+adj’ at the beginning of a clause to give special emphasis to the adjective.


Compare these pairs of sentences:

· His business was so hopeless that he had to find employment. or
· So hopeless was his business that he had to find employment.

· The blizzard became so dangerous that all mountains roads were closed. or
· So dangerous did blizzard become that all mountains roads were closed.

· She was so exhausted that she nearly dozed off at her desk.
· So exhausted was she that she nearly dozed off at her desk.

With this construction, we invert the subject and verb.


Some example sentences of so+adj…that

So important was the meeting, that we could not miss it.
So intelligent is Jane, that she got selected for both job positions.
So talented was the mechanic that he fixed the car so quickly.
So arrogant was she that nobody liked to friend her.
So boring was the movie that I could not but leave the theatre.
So wonderful was Emma’s performance that she stood first in the class.
So unlikely did her story sound that neither of the parents believed her.
So beautiful was the scenery that we could not but take pictures.
So beautiful was the princess that nobody could keep their eyes off her.
So scary was the new house that nobody could stay there even a single night.
So mesmerizing was the speaker’s voice that we could not but stay until the end.
So serious was the pandemic, that WHO recommended the lockdown in the country.
So suspenseful was the movie that we could not lose sight of the screen for a second.
So sweet was her voice that everybody in the auditorium was spellbound while listening to her songs.
So confident was she of qualifying the exam that she felt she didn’t need to enrol at any other college.


Notice that
generally, an inversion is used to stress the uniqueness of an event and can also begin with a negative: Never, rarely, little and seldom are used in inverted sentences to express how unique a given situation is: Never has it been so disgusting! Seldom did he ask teacher questions in the classroom. Rarely do we see this kind of weather in our area.

The time expressions such as hardly, barely, no sooner or scarcely are used when there is a succession of events in the past.

Such+be… that

Similarly, we can use such + be at the beginning of a clause to emphasise the extent or degree of something. The subject and verb are inverted. Compare:

· The movie is so popular that the theatres are likely to be full every night.
· Such is the popularity of the movie that the theatres are likely to be full every night. Or

· The extent of the damage caused by tornado was such that it collapsed bridges, sent cars flying. Or
· Such was the extent of the damage caused by tornado that it collapsed bridges, sent cars flying.

Some example sentences of such+be…that

Such was the wind that we couldn’t open the window. (The wind was such that we couldn’t open the window.)
Such was the sunshine that day that we could not sit at home.
Such was the power of the earthquake that ceiling fan fell to the ground.
Such is the demand for the book that shops all over the country have sold out.
Such was her excitement to see the movie that she began to jump up and down.
Such was the force of the wind that almost all trees in the garden were blown down.
Such a strong emotion ran through this line that some women could hardly read it without crying.

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