What Part of Speech Is the Word So-Called?

The term "so-called" is an adjective that’s commonly used in the English language to indicate that a particular word or phrase is being referred to or described in a way that suggests doubt or skepticism. It functions as a modifier, providing additional context or clarification about the item being discussed. It serves as a rhetorical device, allowing speakers or writers to distance themselves from the terminology they’re using, signaling a certain level of subjective judgment or interpretation. The usage of "so-called" can be found in various contexts, ranging from informal conversations and casual writing to more formal discussions and academic discourse. As with any linguistic construct, understanding the part of speech and nuances associated with "so-called" is essential for effective communication and comprehension.

Is the Word So a Adjective?

The word “so-called” is a common expression used to question the legitimacy or validity of a particular label or title. In this context, the word “so-called” serves as an adjective. It modifies the noun it precedes, highlighting that the given label or title may not accurately represent the true nature or essence of the subject being referred to.

However, the word “so” on it’s own has various functions in the English language, making it a versatile word. It can function as an adverb, conjuncti

In addition to it’s adverbial function, the word “so” can also serve as a conjunction, pronoun, adjective, or interjection. It’s versatile nature allows it to adapt to different contexts and convey a variety of meanings. However, it’s primarily categorized as an adverb due to it’s ability to modify adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs.

What Category Is the Word So?

As an adverb, “so” can indicate the degree or extent of an action or condition. For example, in the sentence “She runs so fast,” “so” modifies the adverb “fast” to convey the intensity of her speed. Similarly, in the sentence “He speaks so softly,” “so” modifies the adverb “softly” to show the level of his volume.

However, “so” can also function as a conjunction, connecting two independent clauses. In this case, it can express cause and effect, result, or purpose. For instance, in the sentence “I’m tired, so I’ll go to bed early,” “so” indicates the cause and effect relationship between being tired and going to bed early.

For example, in the sentence “I handed her the book, and she handed me the journal,” “so” can replace the second occurrence of “the book” to avoid repetition: “I handed her the book, and she handed me the journal so.”

For instance, in the sentence “She’s a so-called expert,” “so-called” serves as an adjective that questions or challenges the expertise of the person in question.

Lastly, “so” can also serve as an interjection, expressing surprise, excitement, or emphasis. For example, in the sentence “So, you finally decided to join us,” “so” emphasizes the surprise or excitement of the speaker upon the arrival of the person being addressed.

It’s classification as an adverb stems from it’s ability to modify adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs. However, it’s role in a sentence can change depending on the context and the function it serves.

Different Meanings of “So” in Different Contexts

The word “so” is a versatile term that can have several meanings depending on it’s context.

One common usage of “so” is as an adverb that denotes extent or degree. For example, “He’s so tall” implies a high level of height. It can also be used as a substitute for “very” or “extremely,” as in “The weather is so hot today.”

In addition, “so” can function as a conjunction, connecting clauses or sentences. It indicates a cause-and-effect relationship or a result. For instance, “I studied hard, so I aced the exam” illustrates how one action led to another.

Furthermore, “so” can serve as an adjective, emphasizing emphasis or intensity. It’s often used to imply emphasis on a particular quality or characteristic. For instance, “That’s my so-called friend” suggests doubt or disbelief about the person’s true friendliness.

Overall, the precise meaning of “so” depends on it’s usage within a sentence, and it’s essential to consider the context to determine it’s intended sense.

Source: What Part of Speech is “SO”

Additionally, “so” can also function as a conjunction or adverb of manner, indicating how an action or event is performed. This versatile word adds emphasis and intensity to the sentence, enhancing it’s meaning and impact. Let’s explore the various ways in which “so” is used in language.

What Type of Adjective Is So?

The word “so” is a versatile part of speech that can function as an adverb, conjunction, or pronoun. It’s used to express a high degree or a perception of high degree.

Furthermore, “so” can be utilized to qualify an adjective in a statement of consequence. For instance, one might say, “He was so tired that he fell asleep immediately.”. Here, “so” serves as an adverb of degree, indicating that the level of tiredness was significant enough to cause immediate sleep.

It’s important to note that “so” doesn’t hold the exact same meaning as “very.”

Differentiating “So” From “Very” as Adverbs of Degree

“So” and “very” are both adverbs of degree that can be used to intensify or modify adjectives or adverbs. However, they’ve slightly different meanings and uses.

When “so” is used as an adverb of degree, it expresses a strong or extreme degree. It’s often used to show great intensity or emphasis. For example, “I’m so tired” means that the speaker is extremely tired.

On the other hand, “very” is used to express a high degree or level, but it isn’t as strong or intense as “so.” It’s more commonly used to simply indicate that something is more than average or usual. For instance, “I’m very tired” means that the speaker is more tired than usual, but not necessarily to an extreme extent.

So, while both “so” and “very” can be used as adverbs of degree, “so” conveys a stronger sense of intensity, while “very” indicates a higher level without strong emphasis.


It’s used to indicate that something or someone is referred to by a particular name or description, often with a sense of skepticism or doubt. This versatile term allows for nuanced expressions, enabling speakers and writers to question the validity or accuracy of a given label.

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