Can so replace this in the sentence below and mean the same thing?

This is a situation that a friend of mine and I were in a car going somewhere talking so much that we forgot how much we drove and went farther than the destination.

I didn't know we came this far.

  • 2
    It could, or it couldn't, depending on the intended meaning. this can imply a considerable degree (so) but the degree need not be considerable. In your scenario in the car, they are synonymous.
    – TimR
    Mar 15, 2018 at 11:31
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Thank you for the comment as always. But, what if the speaker had gone just a little tiny bit farther than the destination and there was no regard that the degree is considerable? Mar 16, 2018 at 6:33
  • 1
    A "tiny bit farther than the destination" is to have overshot the destination. It is "considerable". Are you trying to say "just a tiny bit too far"? I knew we had passed our exit on the highway, and I thought it was 50 miles behind us. I didn't realize we had come only this far. The exit is only 2 miles behind us. Phew!.
    – TimR
    Mar 16, 2018 at 10:11
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo And in that example you gave above, isn't so possible to replace this? Mar 16, 2018 at 19:07
  • 1
    In my last example, only this far cannot be replaced with so. only this far can be paraphrased not that far. I didn't realize we had gone only this far. I didn't realize we had gone not that far. so is deictic.
    – TimR
    Mar 16, 2018 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


I didn't know we came this far!

is an exclamation and entirely correct for making a statement.

You would use so far when asking a question:

How far have we come so far?

In conclusion, you cannot replace so with this in this context.

  • 2
    I don't think I agree. So is perfect acceptable in statements as well as questions.
    – stangdon
    Mar 15, 2018 at 14:48
  • 1
    -1 This is patently untrue. You could switch "so" and "this" in these sentences and they'd be perfectly correct
    – Sparksbet
    Mar 15, 2018 at 21:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .