Here is a sentence from the soccer magazine World Soccer about the 2010 World Cup draw:

As the dust settled after the World Cup draw in Cape Town so the various managers tried to assess the task ahead - either warning against complacency over what might appear an "easy" draw or promising confidence and optimism against the seemingly tougher tasks.

I've never seen such sentence structure as "as...so..." Does the sentence mean that the managers were trying to assess the task in a manner of the settling dust? Shouldn't there be a comma before the word "so?"

Plus, what does the word "task" mean in that sentence? Another sentence that uses the word follows the above sentence:

An immediate defiant reaction to the task produced by the draw - undertaken by FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke and Oscar-winning South African actress Charlize Theron - came from South Africa manager Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Thanks in advance. I've always been reliant on StackExchanging people's expertise in English to improve my English.

  • 1
    'As ... so ...' is probably archaic now. Deleting the 'so' (and adding a comma) gives the modern (almost exactly) synonymous sentence. It might be felt that the 'so' nuances a causal relationship rather than a mere (synchronic/subsequent) temporal one. / The comma was optional when the structure was idiomatic. // 'Task' means the battles there would be, the inevitable struggles, in winning the World Cup. The singular is chosen to focus on the overall campaign rather than individual matches. / I doubt I'd find reasonable supporting references for the first question; the second is off-topic. May 28, 2018 at 9:10
  • What is the sentence before this one? The so may signal the clause as a consequence not having anything to do with settling dust in Cape Town.
    – KarlG
    May 28, 2018 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


I would delete the 'so'.

As the dust settled after the World Cup draw in Cape Town, the various managers tried to assess the task ahead ...

Sadly, you won't always find great English prose in soccer magazines. So it is here. The construction as... so is used when there is a correspondence or close connection (more than just simultaneity) between a first mentioned situation or action and a second. It expresses a mirrored relationship that otherwise might be merely comparative. As you sow, so shall you reap. As interest rates has risen, so food prices have increased.

  • Thank you, Michael. I never thought World Soccer is not a great example of good English prose because it is a very popular magazine among soccer fans. Now I know it.
    – San Kim
    May 28, 2018 at 9:38
  • Please see my error (corrected). The word to delete is 'so'. Sports journalism can be very good, but much is not. May 28, 2018 at 9:52

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