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Is the sentence correct? Can the word "business" used in this context? By the word "host" I mean an owner of a house who entertains.

Hospitality is one of the traits of a friendly and welcoming person. And a good host's business is to do so, so that their guests could feel comfortable and make themselves at home.

I'm concerned about the grammar as well.( "...do so, so that..."). Is it incorrect usage or can I leave the wording as it is? If it is wrong, I would appreciate if you suggested several possible variants of expressing the same idea.

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    No; some action/s would need to have been specified. 'And a good host's business is to be hospitable, so that ....' Jun 28 at 16:07
  • As @EdwinAshworth says, the actual example cited here is syntactically invalid. But it's not difficult to contrive a context where it's perfectly grammatical to have at least three consecutive instances of so. As in "You had nearly 100 people in your pub last night, landlord! You should lock the door after the first 10 customers arrive" - "Yes, officer, and thanks for that advice. Tonight I will do so, so so many people won't be here spreading disease". Okay - so it's "ugly". Syntactically it's fine. Jun 28 at 16:46
  • @FumbleFingers, thank you very much for your answer. Could you please correct my above sentence? I struggle to come up with a good, gramatically perfect variant.
    – Marie Mit
    Jun 28 at 18:06
  • I've already started a grammatical rewrite. Just follow up by changing 'could' to 'can'. Jun 28 at 18:42
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    Not to nitpick, but I don't think of "hospitality" as a human trait; it's rather a kind of treatment or a kind of business. M-W supports this. If "hospitableness" were a commonly-used word I would suggest using that instead. It's not, so I might suggest "being hospitable" as the trait.
    – cruthers
    Jun 28 at 21:15
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The double so in do so, so that is not a problem.

But you don't have an antecedent for your first so, which is a pronoun that means such as has been specified or suggested. You haven't specified anything. Also change could to can:

Being hospitable is one of the traits of a friendly and welcoming person. And a good host's business is to do so, so that their guests can feel comfortable and make themselves at home.

If you don't like the double so, you can change the pronoun so to that (and drop the following that):

Being hospitable is one of the traits of a friendly and welcoming person. And a good host's business is to do that, so their guests can feel comfortable and make themselves at home.

I would further suggest that you drop their, since you technically don't have an antecedent for it. It's not the noun business. It wants to be the noun host. But you have only host's — a possessive, not a noun. Even if you accept a possessive antecedent (as many do), you still have a mismatch — a singular host and a plural their:

Being hospitable is one of the traits of a friendly and welcoming person. And a good host's business is to do that, so guests can feel comfortable and make themselves at home.

Lastly, here's what I would do:

Hospitality is one of the traits of a friendly and welcoming person. And it is a good host's business to be hospitable, ensuring that guests are comfortable and feel at home.

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  • I know Americans sometimes use to do in ways we Brits never would. But it seems to me that first rephrasing should be And a good host's business is to be so, since so there refers back to being hospitable, not doing [hospitable activities?]. Jun 29 at 11:15
  • @FumbleFingers: I did struggle with that, but I decided that do was idiomatic. What are you doing? —> I'm being hospitable. Jun 29 at 14:28
  • Yes, I wouldn't want to overstate my reservations here - I probably "struggle" with the construction in much the same way as you. It's just that you eventually tip one way where I go the other (each of us having "slight misgivings"! :) Jun 29 at 14:51

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