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There are times when somebody says something, and we want to reply that the same situation is true for us. Imagine that your friend says to you, “I would love to visit China some day.” And you have the same desire to visit China!
Of course, it’s also applicable in the negative. That same friend says, “I won’t pass the exam,” and you know you won’t either. What can you say to capture that same thought or feeling?
In the positive, we start the sentence with ‘so.’ Then we put the auxiliary from the previous sentence before the subject (we can call this the ‘question form’). Let’s look at the example from before: “I would love to visit China some day.” The auxiliary verb is ‘would.’ Our response to communicate we have the same desire would look like this:
~ “So would I.”
Because it’s positive, we start with ‘so.’ The auxiliary is ‘would,’ which we put before the subject (in this example, the subject is ‘I’).
How about the negative? No problem. If it’s a negative sentence, we can start our response with ‘neither’ or ‘nor’ (‘neither’ is more common; ‘nor’ sounds more formal and old-fashioned). Then we do the same as the positive sentence example: we put the auxiliary before the subject. Let’s look at the negative sentence example from before: “I won’t pass the exam.” Notice that there is a contraction: ‘will + not.’ The auxiliary is ‘will.’ So we have the following response:
|~ “I won’t pass the exam.” – Your friend|
“Neither will I.” – You
Easy! Let’s look at some other pieces of conversation to see more examples:
|~ John: “I can’t play the piano.”.|
Peter: “Neither can I.”
|~ Susana: “I’ve got a master’s degree.”|
Maria: “So have I!”
|~ Glenn: “I speak three languages.”
Julian: “So do I.” **
** Note that if there is no auxiliary verb, we use the auxiliary ‘do.’
It’s also possible to use this construction to refer to another person besides yourself. For example:
|~Noah: “My brother is a lawyer.”|
Tammy: “So is mine!”
In this example, Tammy wouldn’t say, “So am I,” because she doesn’t want to say that she is also a lawyer. What she means is that her brother is also a lawyer, just like Noah’s brother.
Also note that instead of using this construction, it’s possible to say “me too” (in the positive) and “me neither” (in the negative). For example:
|~ “I’m hungry.” – Your friend|
“Me too.” – You
|~ “I’m not hungry.” – Your friend|
“Me neither.” – You
Practice what you’ve learned by doing the exercises!
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