Understand REAL conditionals in English

(EXAMPLE 1)This post is helpful if you want to improve your English. If you are reading this post, you are probably studying English. If you are not studying English, you are a fellow teacher or just an English lover. (EXAMPLE … Continue reading

How to Use the Perfect Tense (s) in English

Ah, the perfect tenses. Many people would disagree that these tenses are not”perfect” because they actually cause a lot of confusion and difficulty with learning and understanding English. However, they don’t need to be confusing and I am here today … Continue reading

SO versus TOO: What’s the same? What’s different?

Welcome to the beginning of clarity on a topic that confuses many, many people.  

so and too

markconfusedYou are definitely not alone if this is what you look like when trying to understand the similarities  and differences between “so” and “too” and understand how to use the words correctly.

So, allow me to help you understand…

What’s the same?

*Both “so”and “too”are used to add an additional agreement clause in conversations when referring to a positive statement. When we use “so”and “too”, it’s like saying, “I agree with you!” These additional agreement statements avoid repetition of the same words while speaking, and are incredibly common in conversation.
There are some variations in the structure, so pay attention to the examples below.

Paulo says, “I am a chef.”  Paulo’s colleague, Adam, can reply: “I am too.” or “So am I.”

Jennifer says, “I love teaching English!”  Amber and Holly agree, so they each can say: “I do too!” or “So do I!”

Lucy tells her new friend, “I have lived in Australia.” Her new friend, who has also lived there, can respond: “I have too.” or “So have I.”

Notice that the only difference between “so”and “too” is the placement (“so”= beginning & “too”= end). The verb used in the additional agreement clause will depend on the auxiliary used in the main sentence. Use the same auxiliary (be, has/have, modals) as the main clause in your additional statement. If there is no auxiliary verb, use the correct form of “do”.

*Both “so” and “too” are adverbs, which means they are used to modify or describe other adverbs, adjectives, verbs, or sentences. The descriptions they give, however, are very different…..

What’s different?

*While it is true that “so” and “too” both mean very or extremely, I am putting this under a difference because of the overall connotation (meaning) that these two words give. In general, we use the word “too” to indicate something negative. We use it to say that an adjective or an adverb is excessive, or more than what is wanted/needed/desired/possible. When something is more than what we want or is possible, it becomes something negative because it may be more than we can handle, or it may go beyond something we can control. Let’s take a look at some examples to clarify:

ADJECTIVES: cold, challenging
-It is so cold today that I had to wear a scarf.   (It’s cold, but tolerable with a scarf)
-It is too cold today, I would rather stay inside. (It’s cold to the point that I cannot tolerate being outside)
-That test was so challenging today. I studied, though, so I think I’ll pass. (Even though it was challenging, I think I did well)
-That test was too challenging today. Even though I studied, I don’t think I’ll pass. (Even though I studied, it was challenging to the point that I don’t think I did well)

ADVERBS: quickly, harshly (cruelly, severely)
-You finished your homework so quickly!  (Perhaps you understood it well. This could be a praise)
-You finished your homework too quickly!  (It was quicker than what is expected, so perhaps there are some errors or problems with the work. Definitely not a praise)
-You spoke so harshly to her, maybe you should apologize. (The degree of harshness (cruelty) was high, it might warrant an apology)
-You spoke too harshly to her, you need to apologize (The degree of harshness (cruelty) was higher/more extreme than what is appropriate, so an apology is absolutely necessary)

NOTE: sometimes when “too” is placed in front of a very positive adjective (nice, kind, beautiful), it can indicate something positive; however, it is still emphasizing that it is more than what would be expected.

“You are too kind.” →  You are very kind, kinder than what I would expect from you or another person

*When used before a verb, the words “so” and “too” also take on very different meanings. The word “too” is going to mean ‘as well’, and “so” is going to give added emphasis or force meaning ‘without a doubt’ (very)

I too wanted to go with them. (I wanted to go with them too. I wanted to go with them as well.)

I so wanted to go with them. (I really wanted to go. I wanted to go with them very much/without a doubt).

Do you have any questions? Feel free to add them below, in the comment section, and I’ll give you additional help or another example. Try creating some of your own sentence examples for practice, and make sure you use this new information in your writing and conversations this week! If you know someone studying English, who loves English, or might benefit from this article/blog, please share the link or use the buttons below! Thanks, and as always…

Happy Studying! ♥

Phrasal Verb Friday: Fall

Did you know that September 23 was the first day of fall?  Maybe you know it as the first day of autumn? Calling this season that takes place between summer and winter “fall” or “autumn” will depend on where you learned English. Fall … Continue reading

Gerund Vs Infinitive- Part 2

Hey guys, I’m back!! As promised we are going to continue the part 1 post to discuss more about Gerunds vs Infinitives. I hope you understood everything on the first post, but if not, don’t mind asking questions..

Now, we already went through the gerund part of this grammar topic, so let’s talk about when and how we should use the infinitive. First of all, I want to clarify the difference between the infinitive form and the base form of a verb. The infinitive is composed of “to” + a verb, whereas the base form is only composed of the verb. For instance, the verb “sleep” in its infinitive form is “to sleep” and its base form is “sleep”.

As the gerund, the infinitive also comes as a noun in the subject or object position.

  • As a subject: although is not so common to see infinitives as subjects, it’s not impossible, so we will list it here.

To swim is my favorite hobby.
To dance is an amazing activity.

  • As a subject complement: this case is more common to happen than the first one. The infinitive complements the subject and between them there MUST be a linking verb.

My favorite hobby is to swim. (notice that I’ve just paraphrased the last example, which shows that both exist but, as said, this one is more common than the other)

  • After adjectives: infinitives often follow adjectives to give reasons.

He was sad to say goodbye to his family members.
The company owner was anxious to make the next move.

  • Verbs that are followed by infinitives:
    • afford
    • agree
    • appear
    • arrange
    • ask
    • care
    • decide
    • demand
    • expect
    • fail
    • hope
    • learn
    • manage
    • mean
    • offer
    • plan
    • prepare
    • pretend
    • promise
    • refuse
    • seem
    • volunteer
    • wait
    • want
    • wish
  • Besides these verbs, there are also verbs that can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive WITHOUT a change in meaning:
    • begin
    • continue
    • hate
    • like
    • love
    • prefer
    • start
  • And the verbs that can be followed by both WITH  a change in meaning:
    • remember
    • forget
    • stop

I would like to make a side note to discuss these 3 verbs due to the change in meaning whether they are followed by the gerund or infinitive.

Remember and forget follow the same idea, meaning: “remember/forget you have done something”  or related to memory in the sense of “having/not having memory about a fact in the past” when is used with a gerund; or meaning “to forget/remember you need to do something” when is used with an infinitive.

Don’t forget to practice when you finish studying. ( In this case, somebody is advising you to practice later, hence this action is placed in the future)
She forgot giving me her keys yesterday. (Here, the woman forgot she has given the keys to her friend, so the action is placed in the past)

Remember to talk to your boss about the vacation trip. (In this sentence, the person had to remember to do it, so the action is placed in the future)
I remember seeing him last week at the gym. (In this one, I remember I saw a friend last week, thus the action is placed in the past)

Stop does not follow the same thinking but it’s even easier to understand and use. Stop with a gerund means you quit an addiction, a habit or anything you used to do. However, when it is used with an infinitive, it brings the idea of “in order to”.

I stopped my car to talk to an old friend. (In this sentence, I stopped driving my car in order to talk to an old friend, so the action was the reason why I stopped)
I stopped drinking soda 6 years ago. (Here, I quit doing something I used to do, drink soda)

So, that’s all for now..Please, let me know if I made myself clear on both posts and how you are improving on this topic. It will be my pleasure to share more information if you need :):) Have a nice rest of the week!!!♥