‘SO’ (end of the sentence)

I don’t quite trust the CEFR level Pearson gives to the following grammar construct.

GSE 58 B1+ is defined:

‘so’ in sentence-final positions as a placeholder (substitute) for verbs and verb phrases.

It was too expensive.
– I told you so.
John is from Seattle.
– I thought so.

 

‘So’ has many possible meanings and uses near the end of sentences.  When we look at the English Vocabulary Profile, probably the closest meaning to a ‘placeholder or substitute’ is ‘mentioned earlier”:

MENTIONED EARLIER
A2used to refer to something that has just been mentioned, especially to give a short answer to a question
I hope so too.
don’t think so.
James is coming tonight, or so he said.
I hope so.

There are other meanings that will often be found near the end of phrases:

A2 used after a list of things to show that you could have added other similar things
She plays a lot of tennis and squash and so on.

INFORMAL
B1 approximately
How many people were at the party?

Fifty or soI guess.


Not all the examples below will be of ‘so’ as a placeholder.  A search in iWeb for:

* * * * so .

1 DO N’T THINK SO . 10661
2 CONTINUE TO DO SO . 6276
3 DO NT THINK SO . 4839
4 A WEEK OR SO . 4178
5 THEM TO DO SO . 4091
6 ABLE TO DO SO . 3666
7 AN HOUR OR SO . 3470
8 YOU TO DO SO . 3463
9 TIME TO DO SO . 3078
10 A MONTH OR SO . 2532
11 SAFE TO DO SO . 2396
12 A YEAR OR SO . 2317
13 CHOOSE TO DO SO . 2123
14 OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO . 2030
15 A DAY OR SO . 1991
16 , AND RIGHTLY SO . 1985
17 UNABLE TO DO SO . 1970
18 WAY TO DO SO . 1938
19 NOT TO DO SO . 1854
20 RIGHT TO DO SO . 1813
21 HOW TO DO SO . 1810
22 REQUIRED TO DO SO . 1769
23 NEED TO DO SO . 1708
24 PERMISSION TO DO SO . 1639
25 DID N’T THINK SO . 1597
26 WISH TO DO SO . 1577
27 HIM TO DO SO . 1571
28 LAST YEAR OR SO . 1569
29 ORDER TO DO SO . 1566
30 NEXT WEEK OR SO . 1560
31 REASON TO DO SO . 1533
32 A MINUTE OR SO . 1513
33 ? I THINK SO . 1461
34 FAILED TO DO SO . 1402
35 US TO DO SO . 1394
36 , AND RIGHTFULLY SO . 1380
37 FREE TO DO SO . 1365
38 ME TO DO SO . 1240
39 IF NOT MORE SO . 1153
40 NEXT YEAR OR SO . 1130
41 ABILITY TO DO SO . 1107
42 PAST YEAR OR SO . 1104
43 DID NT THINK SO . 1028
44 NEXT MONTH OR SO . 1026
45 , I THINK SO . 1010
46 IT TO DO SO . 990
47 THIS IS NOT SO . 927
48 OBLIGATION TO DO SO . 920
49 TO MAKE IT SO . 916
50 10 MINUTES OR SO . 882
51 HAPPY TO DO SO . 862
52 ? I HOPE SO . 846
53 10 YEARS OR SO . 842
54 NOT ALREADY DONE SO . 842
55 ENOUGH TO DO SO . 830
56 WAYS TO DO SO . 824
57 NECESSARY TO DO SO . 812
58 AS YOU DO SO . 802
59 CONTINUES TO DO SO . 793
60 20 MINUTES OR SO . 773
61 YOU CAN DO SO . 770
62 ALLOWED TO DO SO . 759
63 15 MINUTES OR SO . 757
64 AUTHORITY TO DO SO . 752
65 LAST DECADE OR SO . 741
66 WHY THIS IS SO . 737
67 POWER TO DO SO . 730
68 I TOLD YOU SO . 726 (B1+ according to Pearson.)
69 6 MONTHS OR SO . 720
70 CHANCE TO DO SO . 708
71 SIX MONTHS OR SO . 702
72 LAST WEEK OR SO . 696
73 REASONS FOR DOING SO . 696
74 , PLEASE DO SO . 695
75 MONEY TO DO SO . 666
76 FAIL TO DO SO . 665
77 NEXT DAY OR SO . 665
78 ASKED TO DO SO . 659
79 30 MINUTES OR SO . 658
80 REFUSED TO DO SO . 646
81 REASON FOR DOING SO . 643
82 I THINK SO . 641
83 . I HOPE SO . 638
84 : I THINK SO . 636
85 DESIRE TO DO SO . 635
86 WANT TO DO SO . 635
87 PAST DECADE OR SO . 622
88 RESOURCES TO DO SO . 622
89 20 YEARS OR SO . 613
90 DID NOT DO SO . 612
91 LAST MONTH OR SO . 609
92 EVERY MONTH OR SO . 602
93 POSSIBLE TO DO SO . 599
94 THEM FROM DOING SO . 599
95 FIVE YEARS OR SO . 598
96 IT IS NOT SO . 597
97 5 MINUTES OR SO . 588
98 PLACE TO DO SO . 584
99 DO NOT THINK SO . 580
100 N’T ALREADY DONE SO . 579