question has to do with the following expression: so on and
so forth. Some of my teachers say that this expression is
orally obsolete. And that even in speech, one shouldn't use the
connecting word so. But I still do hear people saying so,
so what should I do?
as discourse connector
is very frequently used in informal spoken English to connect
two ideas as you have done in the last sentence in your question,
Xiao. The connector shows that what is about to be said follows
as a result of what was said before:
had her purse snatched on the Tube, so she had to borrow
some money from me
said he wanted to visit the trade fair in Beijing, so I
arranged for him to go.
colleagues are boycotting this conference, so I shan't
that then is used in a similar way, but only when a second
speaker is responding to what the first speaker has said. Compare
go on holiday on Friday, so you won't see me at the tennis
tournament on Saturday.
go on holiday on Friday. ~ Then I shan't see you at the
tennis tournament on Saturday.
as discourse marker
like so, also connects two clauses and means as a result,
or consequently, but these connectors are characteristic of a formal
written- English style. Compare the following:
conference venue has been switched from London to Edinburgh and
I am therefore unable to attend.
moved the conference from London to Edinburgh, so there's
no way I can get there.
car has a six-litre engine and therefore uses a lot of
car has a six-litre engine. ~ So it uses a lot of petrol,
he was on holiday, he made the mistake of diving into shallow
water from a great height and as a result / consequently /
therefore will now have to spend the rest of his life in a
as an adverb of degree
is also very frequently used before an adjective or an adverb
to make the meaning of the adjective or adverb stronger and
reflects emphatic usage:
are you so late? We've been waiting for ages. ~ There was
an accident on the motorway and it took me so long to get
from Sheffield to Leeds.
are you driving so slowly? ~ It's not safe to drive any
that such which has a similar meaning is used with nouns
or with adjective + noun:
such a nice day today! Why don't we go out for a picnic?
was such a good film that we stayed on and watched it twice.
film was so good that we stayed on and watched it twice.
is such a difficult child and he has such patience /
so much patience when dealing with her.
so on / so on and so forth
of these expressions are still used, Xiao, and so on more
frequently than so on and so forth. When you are listing
items, it is a very convenient way of indicating that there are
further items which you could add to the list if you wanted to:
government's policies on such important issues as health,
education, social welfare, taxation of the low-paid, and so
on, will be revised before the next parliament.
this type of pudding you can use any type of soft fruit, cranberries,
raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, so on and so forth.
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