Such … That

The structure such + noun can be used to mean ‘like this/that’. Note that such comes before the article a/an.

  • The management is planning to hire more people. I would oppose such a decision. (= I would oppose a decision like that.)
  • Don’t be in such a hurry. (= Don’t be in so great a hurry.)

The noun can be modified by an adjective.

  • It was such a horrible experience.
  • That was such a bad journey.
  • They are such good people.

Such indicates a high degree of some quality. It is used in situations where very is also a suitable word.

  • It was such a horrible experience. OR It was a very horrible experience.
  • She has such a sweet smile. OR She has a very sweet smile.

Difference between such and very

Both such and very are possible in some situations. However, there is some difference between them. Very is used to merely give information. It does not make a reference to something that has already been said. Such refers back to what has been said.

  • It was a very pleasant experience. OR It was such a pleasant experience.

Both such and very are possible in this case.

  • Why do you think that it was such a pleasant experience? (NOT Why do you think that it was a very pleasant experience?)

Here we are making a reference to something that has already been said. In such situations, only such is possible.

That-clauses with such

Such can be followed by a that-clause. Very cannot be followed directly by a that-clause.

  • It was such a cold afternoon that we stayed indoors. (NOT It was a very cold afternoon that we stayed indoors.)
  • It was such a bad experience that it shocked all of us.
  • His rudeness was such that his parents were ashamed.
  • He is such a good writer that he is admired by all.

Such as

Such as can be used with a noun to introduce examples.

  • Fruits such as mangoes and grapes are rich in nutrients.
  • Musical instruments such as the piano and the guitar are not very easy to learn.
  • Fatty foods such as fries and hamburgers are not good for health.


Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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