Does the phrase have official term? I'd be glad to know, since that the "to be" is in an odd position.

and we usually find this scenario

Q: They like the kittens. A: So does everyone.


Q: She is pretty. A: So is her sister.

But how about if the sentences contain modal verbs.

Q: We may lose the event. A: So does everyone, so may everyone or so is everyone?.

Q: We could lose the event. A: So did everyone, so could everyone or so was everyone?.

The question is also for the rest of modal verbs, such as will, shall, might, would, should.

  • 6
    Q: We may lose the event. A: So might everyone else. To remain elegant, consistent, the verb after so should reflect the original verb being referred back to if it's not possible to enlist do-support (and auxiliaries such as may, could don't allow do-support). And to my mind you pretty much need everyone else for that specific context of losing an event - I'm not sure exactly why this is, but it's to do with the fact that it's logically impossible for everyone to actually lose (obviously somebody must win! :) Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 17:38
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    I'm not sure if you're asking how to use this phrase, or if you want to know if there is a name for this kind of phrase?
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 18:02
  • Hey thanks for the answer :D, hehe yeah I basically talked for a musical event or something that we were unable to see because of rain or anything that makes it logically accepted lol. So we have to use the past forms of auxiliaries right? How about if the question is with the past modal verbs such as could and might, what should we use for it?, thanks in advance. Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 18:06
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    I'm not aware of an 'official' name. "So" is one of a few words that trigger subject-auxiliary inversion, which explains why in your examples the auxiliary "do" precedes the subject "everyone".
    – BillJ
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 18:11
  • 1
    @Chaesar Ibrani: Nah - I just switched to might because that's the verb I personally would use in that exact context, and to me, may/might are more or less equivalent and freely interchangeable anyway. There are subtle differences for me though. I think You may be right and That may be so imply significant probability (they'd usually occur in contexts where the speaker is in effect conceding that he was wrong). But You might be right almost implies (feasibly) to me, and That might be so just sounds a bit odd (I'd certainly never say it! :) Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 22:52

2 Answers 2


The type of phrase is called a

knock down

which "flattens out" or "brings down" a (superlative) description which usually might be prefixed with

It's no big deal

For example

He's really smart! (superlative)
All the kids at that school are smart. (flattener)

She's got great legs! (superlative)
So does my horse. (flattener)

What am I going to do? She broke up with me.
There are lots of fish in the ocean. (flattener)

  • Where can I get more information about that "flattener". I dont find it on Internet. Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 0:59
  • flatten - to become dull or spiritless, "flattener" is the noun.
    – Peter
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 1:03
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    Oh,thanks. I thought It was a particular term for that kind of phrase. Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 1:05

I believe that usage of "so" is fairly restricted in scope by convention. Personally, I definitely use it with modal verbs "will" and "can". I might occasionally use it with "could", "would", "shall", and "should", but never with "may", "might", or "must". Those are just my own personal preferences, though.

The song "Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues contains the lines:

I could have been someone.
Well, so could anyone.

It seems that "so could" is accepted in popular culture, at least.

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