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  1. Please get up quickly, so you'll be late for school.

  2. Please get up quickly, or you'll be late for school.

Which is the correct one? So or or?

  • 1
    What is it about the meanings of so and or that you don't understand? Which dictionary or dictionaries did you look the words up in? – user6951 Nov 1 '14 at 3:39
  • This is a good question. You are probably interested in knowing the reason why/how your 2nd choice works the way it does. :) (In a dictionary is this example: hurry up, or you'll miss it all. But the dictionary doesn't really explain how or why it works.) – F.E. Nov 1 '14 at 5:10
  • You guys closed this question? -- I was in the middle of answering it. Well, here's the info anyway: Your 2nd choice is probably what you want. Your 2nd choice is in the form of an asymmetric construction that has a conditional interpretation; the construction coordinates together an imperative clause with a declarative clause so that "A or B" implies the meaning of "if not A, then B". That is, your 2nd choice means: "If you do not get up quickly, then you'll be late for school". – F.E. Nov 1 '14 at 5:31
  • @F.E. I didn't vote to close it because it's not an interesting question. I think it is. I voted to close it because, imho, the OP should tell us a bit about their current understanding and why the choices confuse them. The question, as it is, looks rather like an exercise from a book. The OP could add more such details, and if that happened, I wouldn't be hesitate to vote to reopen it once I saw it. By the way, I'm glad to see you around (kinda miss you a bit :-) And, happy Halloween! – Damkerng T. Nov 1 '14 at 5:44
  • Sorry, but I fail to see the rationale of the answers so far. Do we expect them to make sense to and benefit someone unfamiliar with the difference between so and or ? – Kris Nov 1 '14 at 5:59
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The answer is 'or'. Conjunctions help to show how two clauses are related. In this case the first clause is a command. The second clause can then take several forms: it may express the consequence of following the command, or it may express the consequence of not following the command.

Here are examples of these two alternatives:

Please get up quickly, so you will be at school on time.

Please get up quickly, or you will be late for school.

It is equally acceptable to say:

Please get up quickly, so that you will be at school on time.

Please get up quickly, or else you will be late for school.

Finally, it might help to add that the second clause may extend the first, in which case the appropriate conjunction is 'and':

Please get up quickly, and remember to eat brush your hair.

Of course 'so', 'or' and 'and' all have other uses, as explained in any dictionary.

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The use of the conjunction "or" is correct and "so" is absolutely wrong in the context of this question. Speaking in the context, the conjunction "or" means if not, otherwise.

You use "or" when you want to advise or warn somebody that something bad may happen. Get up quickly or you will be late for school.

On the contrary, the conjunction "so" is used in different senses, one of which is that it is used to mean "with the result that or therefore or with the purpose that". Please get up quickly, so you will be late for school. Are you asking the child to get up quickly with the purpose or with the result that he is late for school? No, it doesn't make sense.

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