0

Are these sentences equivalent?

  • You are so rich that you can build a new house.
  • You are so rich as to build a new house.

I came across this in a grammar book, i am confused about the second sentence.

5
  • Hello Ase. Why do you think they are equivalent? Or, why do you doubt that they are equivalent?
    – James K
    Aug 30, 2022 at 8:50
  • No, the latter doesn't make sense. Aug 30, 2022 at 8:54
  • Please give the source more precisely. What is the title and author of of the book, please, and on what page(s) were the sentences found? Please see Marking and Attributing Examples, Sources, and Other Quotes Aug 30, 2022 at 13:47
  • [in a grammar book, not on one]
    – Lambie
    Aug 30, 2022 at 13:53
  • Agreed. The latter sentence is confused about "as to", which is used of personal characteristics: Would you be so good as to pass me the salt? He was so kind as to take care of the orphaned rabbit until it could fend for itself. Aug 30, 2022 at 15:58

3 Answers 3

1

The above is incorrect. However, the following two sentences would be considered equivalent.

  1. You are so rich that you can build a new house.
  2. You are so rich as to be able to build a new house.

The second sentence, while correct, sounds a bit stiff and definitely would be the less common way to phrase it.

Typically, you can rephrase

[Subject] is so [adjective] that [pronoun/subject] [does something].

with

[Subject] is so [adjective] as [to do something].

So we'll have a conjugated verb in the first version and an infinitive in the second. But... the second option doesn't always sound particularly good or idiomatic in modern English, and I'd generally stick with the first phrasing.

Note that in the example that you provided, the first sentence is not properly rephrased in the second sentence because the conjugated verb "can" is not preserved in its infinitive form "to be able to."

0

The first sentence is quite informal and modern, whereas the second sentence is formal and old-fashioned. As this NGram graph shows, usage of the expression "so rich as to" peaked in 1810, and in modern writing it is uncommon.

0

The sentence:

You are so rich as to build a new house.

Is certainly not a normal or fluent usage. It might be considered grammatically wrong. It could be rewritten as:

You are so rich as to be able to build a new house.

This has much the same meaning as the example with "can" but is more awkward and seems to have no compensating advantage.

You must log in to answer this question.

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