1

I'm constructing a sentence which right now looks like this

We all know it is a long way to their nearest office, but they have been so kind and arranged for them to come to us.

Is this the correct use of "been so kind" and is the sentence correct?

2

The usual construction is "to be so kind as to do something". In your example it would be:

We all know it is a long way to their nearest office, but they have been so kind as to arrange for them to come to us.

This construction seems a little odd at first, but as @FumbleFingers says below, it means (approximately) their kindness was so great that it caused, enabled them to help (i.e. - so = to such an extent).

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  • 3
    The "justification" for He was so kind as to help as an alternative to He was so kind to help is that the former means (approximately) his kindness was so great that it caused, enabled him to help (i.e. - so = to such an extent), whereas He was so kind to help means (again, approximately) The fact of him helping was so kind (i.e. - so = very). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jul 5 '15 at 14:37
  • @FumbleFingers Thanks - I'll work that into my answer if you don't mind. – IanF1 Jul 5 '15 at 16:48
  • Please do. Perhaps you'll be able to find a clearer way of expressing the distinction when not constrained by the capacity of a comment box. I think it does turn on the different syntactic structures appropriate to these two different semantic aspects of the word so. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jul 5 '15 at 16:53
  • I think it's more appropriate if we say .....have been so kind that they arranged....... The use of so kind as to do something is more formal. – Khan Jul 5 '15 at 18:55
  • Either way fixes the original problem, that the "and" divorces "kind" from "arranged", as if the kindness consisted of something else. – Brian Hitchcock Jul 6 '15 at 8:10

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