I have trouble understanding the differences between "so" "very" and "too". Are these following sentences correct to say so? And what are the differences? Many thanks!

"Don't drive so fast!" / "Don't drive too fast!" / "Don't drive very fast!"


1 Answer 1

  • "Too" means excessively. It is used to express a number/amount/volume that is higher than allowed or supported. As an example, let's say the speed limit is 50 km/h. A car driving 100 km/h is "driving too fast". It's above some allowed limit.

  • "So" means in the suggested or current manner. In this context, it means the same as "this". For example, the car is driving faster than the passenger would like so they say "don't drive so fast" ("don't drive this fast", "don't drive at the current speed"), meaning that the current speed is higher than they would like.

  • "Very" just means a lot. It doesn't specify if it is above the allowed limit or if it's the wrong amount. "Driving very fast" just specifies that the car is driving fast and the word "very" is used to emphasise its speed.

  • 1
    This answer is good as far as it goes, but there are further nuances. Driving very fast is certainly a normal thing to say, but Don't drive very fast is unusual. I'll think about this and see if I can give any further guidance.
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 20 at 10:40

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