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I was reading a Cambridge English book and I ran into a sentence like this:

"such is our dependence on fossil fuels and such is the volume of carbon dioxide already releases into the atmosphere..."

I was wondering what are the synonyms or alternatives for this "such is...."

I was also wondering its meaning.

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    'Such is our dependence on fossil fuels that ...' = 'We rely so much on fossil fuels that ...'. Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 14:43
  • Such is works in two ways. After you talk about X, you refer to it as "such": Such is my opinion. Also, in a lofty fashion: Such is the life! Wow! Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 14:46
  • such or this/that. It is a relative pronoun.
    – Michael16
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 15:04

1 Answer 1

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Such is an allomorph of so and is used in many of the same constructions. Such introduces predicate nouns and so introduces predicate adjectives

  • It's such a loss! It's so soft! (intensifier use)
  • He's such a fool/so stupid that S (so/such...that S construction)
  • Such a fool/So stupid is he that S (inverted so/such construction)

The presenting example in the question is an example of the last type. Like many types of constituent, the so/such part of the so/such...that construction can be fronted, triggering Subject-Auxiliary inversion. The construction is the same -- it still needs a that-clause to connect the so/such -- and the meaning is the same -- syntactic transformations don't change meaning.

But moving some element to the beginning of the sentence tends to emphasize the fronted element, not surprisingly. And doing it twice in the original example is just parallel construction; they will both share the same (omitted) that-clause, and reinforce each other's emphasis.

By the way, this question is a good example of why we should require complete example sentences in questions, instead of random strings and amateur abbreviations.

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