What Part of Speech is “SO”

In verbal and written English, the word “so” has multiple functions. It can act as an adverb, a conjunction, a pronoun, an adjective, or an interjection depending on the context.

  1. Adverb

This word is classified under adverbs because it can modify an adjective, a verb, or another adverb. When used as an adverb, the word “so” usually express the degree. Take for example, the sentence below:

She had never been so excited.

In the given example, the word “so” is categorized as an adverb because it modifies the adjective “excited.”


a. to an indicated or suggested extent or degree

  • Example:
  • He looked so handsome.

b. in a manner or way indicated or suggested

  • Example:
  • Do you really think so?


   2.    Conjunction

Another common usage of the word “so” is as a conjunction that also means “therefore.” When used as a conjunction, this word usually connects together two clauses to form a single sentence. In the sample sentence below:

It was still painful, so I went to the doctor.

The word “so” acts as a conjunction that links together the clauses “it was still painful” and “I went to the doctor.”


a. and for this reason; therefore

  • Example:
  • I don’t want to go, so I won’t.

b. with the aim that; in order that

  • Example:
  • He whispered to her so that no one else will hear.


   3.    Pronoun

Sometimes, this word is classified as a pronoun because it can be used to substitute something that has been mentioned earlier. In this example:

If you need to make changes, do so while it’s still early.

The word “so” is used to replace “to make changes,” and is therefore considered as a pronoun.


a. used to refer to something that has just been stated or suggested

  • Example:
  • If you have to file a complaint, do so as soon as possible.


    4.    Adjective

Other times, the word “so” is considered as an adjective when it modifies a noun. When used as an adjective, the word can also mean “true.” For example, in the sentence below:

She said things that were not so.

The word “so” is classified as an adjective because it modifies the noun “things.”


a. agreeing with actual facts

  • Example:
  • His books are always just so.


   5.    Interjection

In some cases, the word “so” is also categorized under interjections because it can express short bursts of emotions. In the sample sentence below:

So look who’s here!

The word “so” is considered as an interjection that expresses surprise.


a. used to express surprise or comprehension

  • Example:
  • So you’ve finished your assignment at last!
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