Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More

and so...

I seem to have developed a writing tick of using “and so” rather than “therefore” or “accordingly.” I like the flow of “and so,” but I have been discouraged from using it. I’m curious about what others think of “and so.”

  • Posted by lef
  • Filed in Usage

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I have the same exact problem! If I write without paying conscious attention to using "so", I end up with a whole bunch of them. So, I have to always read through my text specifically to revise my usage of "so". I think I naturally think this way. That is, my mind always structures thoughts into "if - then - so", or that I only have that type of thoughts. Even when I replace "so" with "therefore", "thus", etc., they get quite repetitive also. I think this is just how some people's brains are.

Dyske Apr-11-2011

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Thanks so much Dyske. Is the "and so" so horrible?

lef Apr-11-2011

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It is certainly not a grammatical issue; it's a stylistic issue, SO, it's not wrong. It just does not sound good when you repeat any word over and over.

Dyske Apr-12-2011

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And so?

Red1 Apr-13-2011

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There is no correct use of "and so" in Standard American English. Using "and so" may be colloquial, or an empty phrase that adds no value to an idea.


Colloquial "and so"
Bob enjoyed the movie and so did Helen.
Bob and Helen enjoyed the movie.

Empty phrase
Heat causes a physical change in protein structure, and so, egg whites harden when cooked.
Heat causes a physical change in protein structure, therefore, egg whites harden when cooked.
More concise
Egg whites harden when cooked because heat causes a physical change in protein structure.

To be more concise, try thinking 'if - then', 'if - else', or 'while - occurs' instead of 'if - then - so'.

Olen Apr-17-2011

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Olen: "There is no correct use of "and so" in Standard American English."

Absolute nonsense. If "and so to bed" was good enough for Peyps, it is good enough for you (and other Americans. All the examples you give of uses of "and so" are perfectly correct (except for some punctuation errors) and can be used in formal English. As Dyske says, this is a purely stylistic issue.

However, lef, the habit you have developed is a tic, not a "tick".

Nigel1 Apr-17-2011

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Olen, you made that rule up out of thin air. Also, your "therefore" needs to be preceded by a semicolon, for "therefore" is not a coordinating conjunction; rather, it's a type of adverb.

But we shouldn't use "and so." Just use "so" alone; it's a coordinating conjunction. A comma precedes it, but none follows it - just like other coordinating conjunctions - and it's one of the c.c.'s that can begin a sentence, though many teachers think it can't.

It's also quite a good word, don't you think?

Using "therefore" and "thus" repetitively is more clunky and in my opinion a greater sin than using "so" repetitively.

"Tic" not "tick." Agreed.

patty-c Jul-02-2011

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"And so". Sounds like poetry and historical play like stuff that the modern world lost/forgot when video games were invented. My guess would be like this:

My will is bent and broken, and so is lost.

And so seems to be useful when one is combining two sentences that lead to one sentence, bridging two subjects of whatever into one sentence. "And so" is a tough one to figure out, especially in this day in age where we rather go to Wal-Mart to buy a fish instead of going out on a lake and catch on.

Travis1 Sep-10-2011

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haha i have the same repeating certain words(but) in a 'conversation' problem
it's jus that instead of "and so"
i use the words "You_Know" or "Like-You-Know"
like alot... no matter how hard I try and it also happens when I get nervous or especially when i've got nothing to say xD

leona Jul-21-2012

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I've heard the phrase 'and so' so much lately it's bothering me quite a bit. I performed a Web search for the term and I am unable to find anything that states definitively that it is used incorrectly in most cases. Visual Thesaurus treats it as a legitimate term, but I think it is grossly overused. People often use "and so" when all they really need is "so."

I think in most cases the "and" in phrases like "and then" and "and so" is extraneous. "So" is synonymous with "thus," "therefore," "indeed," and "then." In most cases, it is more appropriate to leave the "and" off of words like this. Sentences using these words often go like this: "Such and such happened or is true; so, this follows." There is no "and" necessary to make that a complete thought. Don't use "and so" in these cases.

Creative writing, on the other hand, is a different animal, well-known for breaking all the rules and offending sensibilities. :-)

I encourage you to read patty-c's post, above, also.

Down with "and so!" (in most cases - Travis's usage example is fine, imho)

Hal121205 Dec-05-2012

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@Hal121205 - If you're so concerned about extraneous language, why don't you just "do" a web search, like the rest of us? And why should you be so concerned to find a definitive answer? If you don't like it, you don't like it, end of. But lay off the rest of us - don't do this, don't do that! I mean, really!

@patty-c - "We shouldn't use 'and so' ". What on earth rule says that?

There's nothing wrong with "and so", unless it's repeated a lot; but that goes for any expression. And it wasn't only good enough for Pepys, as njtt says, but for a lot of others, beside.

- 'Next Boy!' said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee, though she felt quite certain he would only shout out 'Contrariwise!' and so he did. (Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll)

- He had never confided in them or shared his hopes or feelings and so they saw no marked change in his behavior - (E.L.Doctorow, Ragtime)

- Which thing when Judas perceived, he went forth to meet him, and so he smote him, and slew him - 1 Maccabees 3 (among many examples from the King James Bible)

MWDEU - "Bierce 1909 objected to 'and so, but modern books generally ignore it. It is, of course, in perfectly good use'"

"And so it goes" (I'm thinking KV rather than BJ).

Warsaw Will Dec-06-2012

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Thank you Warsaw Will for giving a well referenced answer. I too had the same concern while creating poetic verses of humble nature. 'And so' comes naturally while writing emotionally, and grammatical rules kill emotions and creativity.

A simple example of your mind knowing when you are right is the decision that the second of the following two sentences is write, though both are senseless:
1. Well sleep green sentences.
2. Green sentences sleep well.

PS. Please do not correct my grammar.

Romana Jan-10-2014

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George Bush is an old so and so. :-))

user106928 Jan-11-2014

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I've come across this in student writing, and it is potentially a coordinating conjunction issue.

For example:

"John loves to dance, and Marie loves to dance."

But this is troublesome to me:

"John loves to dance and so does Marie."

Is it not a double coordinating conjunction, requiring a comma, introducing a second independent clause?

TheYellowRobot Mar-03-2014

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@TheYellowRabbit - 'John loves to dance and so does Marie' sounds a lot better to me than 'John loves to dance, and Marie loves to dance.' which has unnecessary repetition and sounds unnatural (who would say it?). In fact we teach our EFL students to use 'so do/does' in cases like this - this is known as substitution.

There is only one conjunction here - 'and'. In the sentence 'And so we went to bed', 'so' is indeed a conjunction, followed by a full verb. But in 'and so does Marie' etc, 'so' is an adverb followed by the auxiliary verb 'does', which replaces 'loves to dance' (substitution).

Adverb + auxiliary + noun / pronoun

As to its propriety, the expression 'and so do / doth' + pronoun was used at least twelve times by Shakespeare, including:

"You love sack, and so do I;"
"My hair doth stand an end to hear her curses". - "And so doth mine."
"She for an Edward weeps, and so do I:"

'and so did' + noun / pronoun appears in several classics:

"and with that I fired again among the amazed wretches, and so did Friday", Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

"Then every body got down; and so did Mr. Thornton", Mrs Gaskell - North and South
"And King Arthur set his love greatly upon her, and so did she upon him", Thomas Malory - Le Morte d'Arthur

"She passed through, and so did Bougwan, and so did I", Henry Riuder Haggard - King Solomon's Mines

It also appears frequently in quality publications:

"Disposable income grew twice as fast as the economy in the 2000s, and so did consumption" - The Economist

"Crucially, the debt-ceiling agreement remains in place, and so do the two trillion dollars plus of budget cuts it entails." - The New Yorker

"For 36 days after the election, the results in Florida remained in doubt, and so did the winner of the presidency." - Washington Post

And it also appears in academic papers (found through Google Scholar)

"Non-smokers married to heavy smokers had an increased risk of lung
cancer, and so did subjects whose mothers smoked"

"Tom Paine and Condorcet used them to the end, and
so did the authors of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man"

"toxicity declined and so did the number of identified
allelochemicals detected in the mixture of soil and residues"

Double conjunction + clause

And here are a couple with the double conjunction (notice the full verbs - 'did not preclude' and 'did not profit'):

"A defendant's consent to a confiscation order which had been given under a mistake of law was not binding and so did not preclude an appeal " - The Times

"He made the invention in 1892 but failed to get a patent and so did not profit from his ingenuity." The Independent

And some double conjunctions from academic papers:

"We made fewer comparisons and so did not need to adopt
such stringent measures"

"However, it is at least a possibility that non-respondents just
did not experience any of the listed physical responses to music, and so did not
consider it worth their while to co-operate with the research"


It doesn't look to me as though you have anything to worry about with your students.

Finally, I don't think there's any necessity to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction when both clauses are as short as thee ones in your example sentence are.

Warsaw Will Mar-04-2014

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@TheYellowRobot - some people make silly typos, and so do I, apparently. Sorry for getting your name wrong, and Rider Haggard's, for that matter.

Warsaw Will Mar-04-2014

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@TheYellowRobot - I've realised that we can also have a result clause with just an auxiliary and no main verb, but in this case we couldn't invert the subject and auxiliary:

'John signed up for dance classes, and so did Marie.' - adverb 'so' - inversion - meaning simply 'and Marie did (so) too' - no idea of cause and result.

'John signed up for dance classes, and so Marie did too.' - conjunction 'so' - no inversion - meaning - 'therefore, Marie did too.' - result clause.

Warsaw Will Mar-05-2014

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Nice work, Warsaw Will!

patty-c Mar-08-2014

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I love the sound of "and so".

lucy lenn Mar-09-2014

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Yes @ lucy lenn. Perhaps when you were a little girl someone you loved used to tell you this story:
We were all sitting around the campfire, and the Captain said to me, "Antonio, tell us a story!" And so I began ...
We were all sitting around the campfire, and the Captain said to me, "Antonio, tell us a story!" And so I began ...
We were all sitting around the campfire.....

patty-c Mar-10-2014

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What about when 'and so' starts the sentence!!!!! As in:

"And so, we went to the store."


Danita Feb-12-2015

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This might be of interest: an article linking to research on the conversational benefits of 'so':

Warsaw Will Apr-07-2015

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The velocity enhancers are frictionally contact with the inner side of the tube wall, and they extend the contact surface of the water flowing through them, so, they reduce the plate temperature.

gayathri Jul-09-2016

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I like to use 'and so' in certain forms. I would never use it in an academic paper but I would in poetry and some others as well. Correct or not, it is understood and I have accepted much less elegant words or terms under the premise that a living language changes

JanetteV Sep-26-2016

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I'm new to writing as a serious, big-kid activity. This discussion was helpful, thank you. But I have say, is no one even going to reference "And so it goes." in this thread????

Ryan H Nov-18-2016

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I know this thread is sort of dead, but I came across it while researching the expression "and so it goes." I just wanted to throw this out there because I noticed no one mentioned it; is "so" being used as a conjunction here? Because I love the phrase "and so it goes," however, I think it may be technically incorrect to use two conjunctions b2b like this. Can anyone grammatically wiser than myself attest to this?

Of_Course Jun-24-2019

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I also enter late. There seems to be no disagreement here. The people who are concerned with the laws of grammar do not like "and so". And I think no one likes

He want to the store, and but he bought nothing.

The people who like "and so" are pretty much saying "It sounds fine" and "People use it."

That discordance is common. It's perhaps of interest here because the standard rules of grammar rarely address this issue.

EmmaSohan Sep-25-2019

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I don't think it's a conjuction at all !
"And so" has the conjunction "and" and then I would call "so" an adverb, it's like "therefore"
(in "I didn't like it, and so I left")
And so I don't even think it breaks the rules of grammar, not at all. (Though I just did; but I can tell the difference)
In your special case "and so it goes", that's a slightly different meaning but "so" is definitely an adverb there - it means "that way", or something close to "thus". In your "and so it goes", "and" isn't even connected to "so". So it goes. They changed my schedule again, and so it goes. I hate my new schedule, but so it goes. "And so it goes" can't possibly have anything wrong with it! (Sez I)

patty-c Sep-27-2019

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@Warsaw Will ... Just came across your article! Nice! Thank you

patty-c Sep-27-2019

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Lol wish I could delete my posts. My self-contradictory and now incorrect post. Also my repetitive post. Oh well! So it goes!

patty-c Sep-27-2019

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to that end

user108518 Dec-31-2019

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Either use and or so. And so is being overused all the time in a way that sounds arrogant to my ear. I feel the English language is being bastardized. It’s an embarrassment that no one can spell or punctuate properly anymore.

Mooshie Aug-02-2020

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My girfriend says "and so" all the time especially when she's trying to sound smart, and it drives me crazy. It doesn't mean anything just like, "it is what it is," or "at the end of the day," or "that being said," or "if you will," and so ...

Big DW Nov-24-2020

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I don’t know if it’s grammatically correct but whenever I hear someone say “and so” I just cringe something about it just doesn’t sound right

Using the the coordinating conjunctions side-by-side, with one another, is off-putting, and portrays the writer, or speaker, appear less educated. Take these common coordinating conjunctions for instance: "For", "and", "nor", "but", "or", "yet", and "so". Using ANY of these, side-by-side, is akin to a "double conjunction". Not only is it not needed, but also sounds incorrect. In summary, it makes your piece, wordy.

arkansasmarine Jun-28-2023

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I also wanted to mention, I believe you and many others feel comfortable using it, because it has become EXTREMELY common among public speakers. The current (2023) White House Press Secretary, and the guests that join her, use it. We've also witnessed press releases from several police agencies using it. Professionals who become detached from proper grammar, risk appearing less educated, and infecting others around them with their misuse of words. Imagine if we started speaking or writing phrases like "We were at the grocery store today for so but food for the party".

arkansasmarine Jun-28-2023

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