Too…to and so…that

September 20, 2010pdf

A phrase can be expanded into a clause. In the same way, a clause can be contracted into a phrase. Thus we have seen that the form of a sentence can be changed without changing its meaning. The transformation can be done using several different methods.

For example a simple sentence containing the adverb too can be transformed into a complex sentence containing so…that with no difference in meaning.

Study the following sentences.

The news is too good to be true.
The news is so good that it cannot be true.

The thief ran too fast for the police to catch.
The thief ran so fast that the police could not catch him.

He is too proud to beg.
He is so proud that he will not beg.

The tea was too hot to drink.
The tea was so hot that I could not drink it. OR The tea was so hot that it could not be drunk.

The bag was too heavy for me to lift.
The bag was so heavy that I could not lift it.

He spoke too fast to be understood.
He spoke so fast that he could not be understood.

Notes
If the adverb too is followed by an adjective + to infinitive, we expand the sentence into two clauses, the first containing so and the second containing that.

If the sentence containing too…to is in the affirmative, the sentence containing so…that will be in the negative.

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