Difference Between So and Very

The words “So” and “Very” are both used in a sentence to help make adverbs or adjectives stronger. The two words help provide much-needed emphasis on the subject matter at hand.

So vs Very

The main difference between So and Very is that the Very can be used to introduce and provide any new information, while So can be used to emphasise that information. These two words differ primarily with the forms in which they are used.

So VS Very

The word “So” is used to emphasise a point being stated in a sentence as a form of an exclamation. It intensifies the structure of the sentence.

The word “Very” in its grammatical usage, can be used to intensify an adverb and help cement the fact being stated. But when used in the literal sense, it could also be used to convey ‘a large or small amount’.


Comparison Table Between So and Very (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonSoVery
Grammatical formThe word “So” is present only in the form of a degree adverb, and is used with other adverbs and adjectives.The word “Very” exists in two forms – adjective and adverb and is accompanied by other adverbs or nouns.
Usages“So” can be used to – intensify a fact or a point, describe a task, provide a negation, or even confirm a tautology.Used to – emphasise information being provided, convey the size of something, or highlight the quality of something.
Substitution of wordsThe word “So”, unlike “Very”, cannot be substituted in the place of words like “Really”.“Very” can be used in place of “Really” as they have similar meanings in the same context.
Example“They were so right when they said that the burger was spicy.”
“Fold the napkins in the form of a rectangle like so.”
“There was a huge plane at the airstrip.”
“The breadsticks taste very good today.”
SynonymsAccordingly, consequently, therefore, thus.Extremely, vastly, tremendously, immensely.


When to Use So?

The word “So” during the use of Old English was purely intensive. But throughout the 1900s as the English language developed, so did the various meanings of “So”.

Through an analytical perspective, “So” is a degree adverb, which is generally accompanied by other nouns, adverbs, and adjectives.

One of the main usages of “So” in a sentence is to intensify the fact being conveyed. It helps to add an emphasis on the subject matter being relayed. This way allows one to exclaim a feeling as well. i

Example –

  1. The project handed out the professor is so difficult; it just gives me a migraine!”
  2. “ I can never understand how someone could be so insensitive!”

“So” can also be used to describe a task or help to get the point information across on how to operate. Here, “So” does not play any significant role other than helping form the sentence structure.

Example –

  1. The excel sheets must be organised in alphabetical order like so.”
  2. “When building a paper aeroplane, you must fold and make a crease, like so, and then you can easily form the wings.”

Different use of “So” is also seen when one uses it to argue against a negation. This is not used in formal conversation and usually, is seen when children are talking. Example – “Charlie said I couldn’t eat a whole pie, and I so did.”


When to Use Very?

The word “very” during the late 13th century was primarily used as a replacement for terms such as – genuine, actual, sheer. Over time, the usages and meaning of “Very” changed with the context.

“Very” exists in two forms when looking through a grammatical perspective –

  1. Adjective
  2. Adverb

The first and foremost usage, which is commonly seen everywhere is the ability to provide emphasis on a subject. “Very” can also be used to provide new information on the matter at hand.

Example –

  1. This soup is very delicious. I think I am ready to have some more.”
  2. “I am very exhausted today. I am just going to lie down and sleep.”

“Very” is also used to convey the size of an object, whether it may be large or small and even compare two different proportions. 

Example –

  1. Yesterday at the aquarium, I saw a blue whale, and they happen to be very big compared to any mammal on earth.”
  2. “I was only able to purchase a very small amount of blue cheese when I was at the supermarket.”

The word “Very” can also be used to highlight the qualities of someone or something, such as whether it is good, bad, or beautiful.

Example –

  1. Sally’s blue eyes happen to be very beautiful.”
  2. “My mom’s pasta happens to be the very best in all of Texas.”

Main Differences Between So and Very

  1. The word “So” is present only in the form of a degree adjective. While “Very” can be used as both an adjective as well as an adverb.
  2. “So” can be used to intensify a fact or a point, describe a task, provide a negation, or even confirm a tautology. While “Very” can be used to emphasise information being provided, convey the size of something, or highlight the quality of something.
  3. “So” can never be used as a substitute for the word “really”, while “Very” which posses similar meaning in all context, can be used to substitute “really”.
  4. “Very” can be used to introduce new information in a sentence, while “So” can be used to accompany it to emphasise the information.
  5. In terms of synonyms, “So” has the same meaning as accordingly, consequently, therefore, thus. While “Very” is somewhat similar to vastly, tremendously, immensely.



Both the words “So and “Very” are seen to have similar meanings, where they both in some form or the other intensify the primary subject matter in the sentence. But these two words do differ in the context used. “So” can be used while explaining how to perform a task or as a way to confirm a fact. “Very” can be used to describe the proportions of things, and also provide new information in a sentence.

The two words do feel like they can replace each other in a sentence, but a common mistake is seen to take place when people do not understand the structure of the sentence, and that “So” and “Very” cannot easily replace each other in a sentence.


  1. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/very
  2. https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=very
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