Structures with so

So is often used as a general purpose connector and comes at the beginning of sentences.

  • So, when do you want to move in?
  • So, what have you decided?
  • So, what do you think we should do next?

So that

This structure is used to show purpose.

  • Speak loudly so that we can hear you.
  • Work hard so that you will pass.
  • We eat so that we may live.
  • He hid himself in the bush so that he would not be caught.

So that may also indicate the result.

  • He remained still so that people thought that he had died. (= Because he remained still people thought that he had died.)
  • She was standing behind the door so that I couldn’t see her face. (= As she was standing behind the door, I couldn’t see her face.)
  • He lowered his voice so that no one would hear.
  • I will get a map so that we won’t get lost.

For emphatic use

In an informal style, so is used for emphasizing a quality, feeling or amount. So means the same as very in this case. This structure is like an exclamation.

  • I am so happy. (How happy I am!)
  • She was so angry. (How angry she was!)
  • I’m so glad that you still remember my name.
  • Thank you so much for coming.

So… that

This structure shows the result. We cannot use a that-clause after very. Instead, we use so…that.

  • I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep.
  • She was so tired that she couldn’t walk.
  • The tea was so hot that I couldn’t drink it.
  • The weather was so hot that we didn’t go out.

Note that the same idea can be expressed using the structure too…to.

  • I was too excited to sleep.
  • She was too tired to walk.
  • The tea was too hot to drink.
  • The weather was too hot to go out.