So (sentence closer)

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So is a word that may be used to end sentences. When ending a sentence, it may be:

  • a coordinating conjunctive to refer backwards to something previously mentioned
  • a coordinating conjunctive dangling "so" (sometimes called trailing "so")[1] to refer forwards to something that may be said
  • an intensifying adverb.

Referring back[edit]

"So" may be used to refer back to something previously mentioned, such as:[2]

  • "If she notices, she never says so."
  • Speaker 1: "Has somebody called an ambulance?” Speaker 2: ”I believe so.”

Other possibilities include:

  • "Absolutely so."
  • "How so?"
  • "I am afraid so."
  • "Indeed so."
  • "It is not so."
  • "It is so."
  • "Is it so?"
  • "Is that so?"
  • "...just so."
  • "...less so."
  • "Let it be so."
  • " so."
  • "...made it so."
  • "...make it so."
  • "...more so."
  • "Not so."
  • "...or so."
  • "Quite so."
  • "So?"
  • ""
  • "Why so?"

Dangling so[edit]

A dangling "so" in conversation invites the listener to articulate or consider the implications of the information provided without the speaker having to articulate it himself or herself.[3][4] It has been interpreted as sometimes a form of bragging.[5] A dangling "so" in conversation may be represented in text as "so" followed by an ellipsis symbol "…".[1][6] Examples of dangling "so":

  • "Yeah, it's pretty exciting, though we're not really sure whether it will work out, so..."
  • Speaker 1: "How was your date?" Speaker 2: "Well, he didn’t show up, so..."

Intensifying adverb[edit]

"So" may close a sentence as an intensifying adverb, such as in "I love her so". "So" in the middle of a sentence can also be an intensifying adverb, such as in "I so love her".[6]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Bolden, Galina B. (2009). "Implementing incipient actions: The discourse marker 'so' in English conversation". Journal of Pragmatics. 41 (5): 974–998. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2008.10.004.