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What's the difference between the two structures:

  • ADJ enough to VERB
    1. "he is fool enough to pretend like that"
    2. "But was their crime great enough to merit a death sentence?"
    3. "Apple offers products are good enough to constitute a category of their own"
  • so ADJ as to VERB
    1. "he is so fool as to pretend like that"
    2. "But was their crime so great as to merit a death sentence?"
    3. "Apple offers products are so good as to constitute a category of their own"

Are the interchangeable? If not, how are they different in terms of usage and also connotation?

  • Obvious distinction (perhaps, pragmatics): "a crime great enough to merit a death sentence" is a crime just adequate (approaches from below and touches the threshold of qualification); "a crime so great as to merit a death sentence" is a big crime (it's well past the threshold of qualification, beyond doubt). Just the way I look at it. Also, only one of the alternatives will suit each case, so there's no question of interchangeability. – Kris Feb 22 '15 at 12:12
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    By the way, the sentence construction seems either incorrect or unidiomatic in all cases: "He is foolish enough to pretend like that," etc. – Kris Feb 22 '15 at 12:18
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In my edit I have switched the two number 2's, which you had the wrong way round.

In the case of 2 and 3, they mean virtually the same thing. The so good as to construction perhaps stresses a thing's 'goodness' or 'greatness', whilst the is it good enough to seems to me to query its goodness. It is a very fine nuance, but I do think there are circumstances when I would use one rather than the other. They are not 100% synonymous, but perhaps 95% so!

In the case of 1, I don't particularly like the so fool as to pretend. People may use it, and it is arguably standard English, but personally I wouldn't. It is a matter of taste, and since fool is a noun, I think I would say Is he so much a fool as to pretend that...; or Is he so foolish as to pretend that....

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    Why that down vote? – Kris Feb 22 '15 at 12:18

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