I wondered if "that" can be followed by almost every adjective, when it means= so. For ex. That doesn't happen "that usual" instead of "so usual"

Any guidelines for negative, positive or interrogative forms?

  • 2
    I've never heard "that usual", "that's usual" yes, but not "that usual". Most other adjectives work with "that", "that old", "that tall", that fat".. Don't confuse it with "the usual" which is your favorite food or drink.
    – Peter
    Dec 9, 2016 at 21:04
  • "That doesn't happen so usual" is not an acceptable phrase.
    – Catija
    Dec 9, 2016 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


Yes, but both of them some more natural with negative polarity (ie in negative or interrogative sentences) than with positive polarity.

So "It's not that usual" and "It's not so usual" both seem natural to me. "It's that usual" seems possible, but only when an explicit standard of comparison has been mentioned.


So versus that.

It was not that usual for him to write in Chinese.

It was not so usual for him write in Chinese.

In the two sentences above, so and that have the same meaning.

So, basically, yes, so + adjective is the same as that + adjective.

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