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Archive Language Point 128

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So and neither

Tim, Khalid and Kitty in the kitchen
We can use the words 'so' and 'neither' to show agreement and to save us having to repeat main verbs (buy, talk, study) or auxiliary verbs (be, have, can etc).


We can use 'so' to mean 'too' or 'also':

Helen: I'm a student.
Khalid: So am I. (= I too am a student.)

Alice: I work in a hospital.
Paul: So do I. (= I also work in a hospital.)


'Neither' is used in a similar way to 'so' but is used to show agreement with negative statements or ideas:

She doesn't like coffee and neither do I. (= I don't like coffee either.)

Helen can't speak French and neither can Tim. (= Tim can't speak French either.)

Auxiliary verbs and main verbs

There are two types of verbs we need to think about with 'neither' or 'so' - auxiliary verbs and main ones.

In these examples, the person agreeing repeats the auxiliary verb (with the appropriate form of it):

I have three brothers.
So has she.

He can't swim
Neither can we.

He's from Canada.
So am I.

I must do my homework and so must you.

Main verbs and auxiliary verbs

In these examples, the first person uses a main verb (i.e. not an auxiliary verb) and the person agreeing uses the verb 'do' (and the appropriate form of it):

She loves playing tennis.
So does he.

He doesn't work on a Saturday.
Neither do we.

He's from Canada.
So am I.

I didn't like that book
Neither did I.

Suppose so / Hope so / Afraid so

We can also use 'so' in answers instead of longer 'that' clauses:

Khalid: Are you ready to go?
Tim: I suppose so. (= I don't want to go but I suppose that I am ready to go.)

Teacher: Will you have finished your essay soon?
Student: I hope so. (= I am looking forward to and expect that I will be finished soon.)

Tourist: Excuse me. Is the museum is closed today?
Tourist information officer: I'm afraid so madam. (= I'm sorry to tell you that the museum is closed today.)


very frightened

taking over from
starting to do a job or be responsible for something that another person did or had responsibility for before

Chin up!
something you say to someone in a difficult situation to encourage them to be brave and try not to be sad


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