The use of "very" and "so" in the "that-clause"

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  1. I'm very sorry that I can't join you.
  2. I'm so sorry that I can't join you.

Which one is grammatical and correct? Thanks in advance.

yethu

Posted 2016-01-08T04:21:45.910

Reputation: 849

Both are fine for me. – Nihilist_Frost – 2016-01-08T04:33:46.937

Both are OK. I would say 1. is more formal. 2. adds a bit of emotional involvement. – user3169 – 2016-01-08T04:43:05.827

"That" looks like an expletive here. – lurker – 2016-01-08T06:53:21.197

Can the word "very" be used before the "that-clauses"? Thanks again. – yethu – 2016-01-08T07:39:10.620

Answers

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I don't think either is incorrect, or that the "that-clause" has any special rule for using "so" vs. "that".

I'd say "so sorry" sounds emphatic/emotional. "very sorry" sounds more plain and formal, but maybe more sincere.

Althought the "so" version can be more emotional, in certain contexts it can add a tone of sarcasm, especially if you're appologizing for something minor. I'd avoid this expression unless you think you can convey your tone unambiguously.

I think the most idiomatic expression in American English is "really sorry", but that is casual.

In a more formal situation I'd use no adverb at all, and in very formal situations use "apologize".

Senjougahara Hitagi

Posted 2016-01-08T04:21:45.910

Reputation: 1 678