2

For the word "such", most sources say that it should be followed by a noun (phrase) but mention nothing about "such" + adj.

e.g.

Such confident of him! But can he pull that off?

That's such arrogant of him.

I know these sentence wouldn't be considered problematic if I substitute "such" for "so". But can I use "such" as an adverb in this way to modify only an adjective (but not a noun)?


M-W's entry of such as an adverb has the following example:

such tall buildings

Of course, that can be read as "Such" + "tall buildings" (noun phrase), but can that be also read as "Such tall" (adjective modified by adverb "such") + "buildings"?


Related question: If the rule is "such (a) + adj. + noun", why is "such fun" correct?

This question discussed the sentence "It was such fun for all of us to be together". But I think "fun" in that sentence could be considered a noun. So, in that line of thought, that question does not provide much insight to this question I have.

5
  • Fun is definitely a noun. Treating it as an adjective is a modern, informal usage. Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 20:41
  • 1
    So before adjectives, such before noun phrases, both of them requiring a that clause to define it. So tired that I'm going straight to bed; such a long day that I'm skipping supper. Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 21:10
  • @JohnLawler, how about sentences like "It has been so long since I've met him." or "He is such a jerk."?
    – nayfaan
    Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 21:29
  • Why is this question closed? I've demonstrated research in my question that a) I've suggested that I've found no source commenting on the specific usage of "such" + adj., and b) the closest question on SE (which I've linked) does not provide a relevant answer to this question. Also, responding to the comment above and answer below, they are not direct answers to my question (again, it only comments on "such" + noun, but not the "such" + adj. construct), and I've pointed out counterexamples, suggesting that their statement does not encapsulate all situations.
    – nayfaan
    Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 6:33
  • @nayfaan So and such are often used alone as emphasizers, like very. It's quite informal speech, though, and the so or such often have exaggerated intonations. This phenomenon is often parodied as 'girl talk', though it's not restricted to women. Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 16:25

3 Answers 3

4

Is the OP perhaps trying to find a loophole or an exception where "such + adjective" is appropriate and grammatical? I don't know of any exceptions, even when the language is informal and vulgar, such does not precede adjectives:

i) That's such bullshitty (Nonstandard)
ii) That's so bullshitty (Standard)
iii) That's such bullshit (Standard)
iv) That's such a bullshit(ty) excuse (Standard)

Person A shows person B an antique photo album. B replies:

iv) They are such beautiful! (Nonstandard)
v) They are such beautiful photos! (Standard)
vi) They are so beautiful photos (Nonstandard)
vii) They are so beautiful. (Standard)

From Cambridge Dictionary,
(Apologies for the screenshot because I don't know how to do strikethroughs with the Stack Exchange editor tool)

Screenshot of Cambridge Dictionary's article. “Easily confused words > Such or so?”

Compare

so + adjective such + noun phrase
you're so kind he's such a nice person
it was so hot we couldn't work November was such a cold month

If the OP's own research confirmed that "so + adjective" and "such + noun (or) noun phrase" is considered standard English, then they have to accept it.

1
  • Screenshot woks fine. For strikethrough you need <s> to begin it and </s> to finish it :) Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 12:42
2

Such + adj. only: Is that acceptable usage?

No. It’s wrong. It sounds awful.

Or should I use "so" only in these cases?

Yes, that is a good idea.

most sources say that it should be followed by a noun (phrase)

Those sources are correct.

This question discussed the sentence "It was such fun for all of us to be together". But I think "fun" in that sentence could be considered a noun.

Fun is a noun in that sentence.

So, in that line of thought, that question does not provide much insight to this question I have.

It does provide insight – it agrees with

most sources say that it should be followed by a noun (phrase)

And that quote should be "all reliable sources, in which the following word or words are referenced, say that it should be followed by a noun (phrase).

1

In a comment John Lawler wrote:

So before adjectives, such before noun phrases, both of them requiring a that clause to define it. So tired that I'm going straight to bed; such a long day that I'm skipping supper.

1
  • 2
    Adjectives or adverbs, of course. Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 12:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.