Although Karla had been in this area many times before, this was the first time she'd seen this coffee shop. So she decided to give it a try.

Can I use thus instead of so in the example above? Would that change the meaning of the sentence?

  • 1
    It is logical and grammatical, but very stuffy (and not very common) in US English. You might find thus used this way in formal argument, but not common speech or informal writing.
    – bib
    Sep 26, 2013 at 2:16
  • 1
    I use both equally, in more formal explanations on ELU. Never in a less formal setting. The tone of your text is far from being formal enough to warrant thus.
    – Talia Ford
    Sep 26, 2013 at 2:24
  • There is a slight difference in meaning. ‘So’ in this case is more or less equivalent to ‘as such’ or ‘as a result’, where ‘thus’ is synonymous with ‘therefore’ or ‘for that reason’. One emphasises the reasoning, the other the outcome. Sep 26, 2013 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


Yes. 'Thus' or 'hence' are a bit more formal; words more likely to be found in essays etc. 'So' in this sense is more conversational.

  • But thus is so much closer to the language of Milton and Shakespeare ;)
    – mplungjan
    Sep 26, 2013 at 13:15
  • I mean t'say, wha' yer on abaut,mplungian, anyfink goes dunnit? Should we maintain a high standard of English prose, or should we just accept whatever gets spoken in the street as 'English'?
    – user52780
    Sep 26, 2013 at 15:06

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