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You watch someone lift a 200kg weight. How would you say to someone else that he is strong?

"He was so strong, that he could lift a 200 kg weight."

Using the structure so...that

or

"He was hardly weak as he could lift a 200 kg weight."

Using the structure hardly...as

or

must surely (or other adverb) be/ needs to be ... as/because

There are so many ways to say it that, being not native, I can't decide which way to say it!

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    I don't see any "exaggeration" here. The first sentence is a simple statement - we know he is strong because he can lift that weight. The second is a simple corollary - we know he is not [at all] weak because he can lift that weight. They're both perfectly normal things to say. You confuse things by introducing extra words like so in the first version, which somewhat changes the point being made. The as/because distinction is irrelevant to the strong/not weak distinction, and all four can be used in this exact context with no real difference. – FumbleFingers Sep 1 '13 at 1:08
  • you are right about the exaggeration, his strength is unquestionably large and that is no exaggeration. Anyway, the questions stands, how do report to a friend that he is strong? – Pedro Sep 1 '13 at 2:30
  • the so in the first sentence is to add emphasis being so strong is being very strong – Pedro Sep 1 '13 at 2:30
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    @ Pedro: You are mistaken. The so in the first sentence is part of the comparative structure so strong that. The "emphatic" usage you're thinking of would be something like "He's [ever] so strong! He can lift 200kg!". – FumbleFingers Sep 1 '13 at 12:34
  • @FumbleFingers Yes, but it's expressing a degree of strength: this is how strong he is, that he can lift 200kg. It's not just (as in your first comment) that he is strong - the degree of strength has been stated as well. – starsplusplus Feb 14 '14 at 16:07
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Ah, you don't want to exaggerate. You want to emphasize that your friend is very strong.

"He's strong as an ox. I saw him lift 200 kg! The world record is just 263!"

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    Yes, an exaggeration would be: "He's so strong he can lift a ton!" – J.R. Sep 1 '13 at 23:53
  • Oh, "he can lift a ton" is great! – Greg Hullender Sep 2 '13 at 16:10
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Are you wanting to exaggerate this particular feat of lifting 200 kg, or your friend's strength in general?

If you're describing this particular event, you would say, "He lifted 200kg like it was a feather." Or "He lifted 200kg and he wasn't even trying." A common idiom to say it easy easy would be "He lifted 200kg and didn't even break a sweat".

On the other hand, if it wasn't that particular act but rather your friend's strength in general, something like Greg Hullender's suggestion of "he can lift a ton" (or "1000 kg", if you're metric) would work well.

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  • A ton is imperial, a tonne is metric :) – starsplusplus Feb 14 '14 at 16:08

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