Yesterday, I saw a sentence in my textbook. It goes,

As people change, so languages change.

To me, it also means: The language changes in the same way people change.

However, what makes me confused for so long is the difference between the above sentence and the following saying.

As you sow, so shall you reap.

To me, it also means: you reap what you sow.

Notwithstanding, why does the saying below have the structure of inversion but the sentence in my textbook doesn't?

Don't their "as……, so……" mean the same thing? Can you tell me how to use it and when to use it? Does it need inversion behind?

  • 1
    Please note, you've made a very common error. In English, we pretty much always put spaces after punctuation like commas, periods and question marks, whereas you aren't using them at all. I'm editing your question to fix that but it's something to remember going forward! :D
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 4:46

3 Answers 3


This statement in your question in incorrect:

To me, it also means: The language changes in the same way people change.

In that context, 'as' means at the same time.

However, in this sentence, 'as' does mean something close to you in the same way

As you sow, so shall you reap.

Another common meaning of 'as' is similar to because, as in this example:

I decided to stay home as it was raining.

There's no simple explanation for the use of 'as'. If you look at this definition in M-WD, you'll see that it lists eight meanings of 'as' as a conjunction - plus other meanings as an adverb, noun, pronoun, and preposition.

I'm sorry, but some words in English are very difficult for non-native speakers to learn how to use correctly because they are used so often, and in so many different situations. 'As' is one of those words. :(

  • Pardon me,but why did you think it means "at the same time" in the first sentence? In your way to explain,the word "so" means nothing……
    – Chang yo
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 1:42
  • @Changyo Indeed you could remove the "so" and have the same meaning. The "as..so" pattern in that case looks like a sort of rhetorical flourish rather than a succinct statement.
    – Ben Zotto
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 6:19

In my experience, the word "as" would usually describe a time frame of an action, and "so" would give you the consequential event from said action OR an event that occurred at the same time frame of "as"; As given in the example below:

As the cities crumbled, so did new ones arise.

I hope this helped. If anyone would like to add anything or correct me, feel free to at any time.


This website says it means that the two things you compare are similar or the same action or state happens to them


  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 7:14

You must log in to answer this question.

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