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I was so tired and I went to bed early

English translation: No, it's not automatically correct...

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06:08 Oct 22, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Linguistics / grammar/usage
English term or phrase: I was so tired and I went to bed early
It seems to me that, at least in usage, "so...and" in the sentence above can have the meaning of "so...that." In other words, the sentence above and "I was so tired that I went to bed" can be paraphrases of one another.
Am I correct in assuming so?
Of course, if this is correct, then it should generalize, e.g, "It was so cold and I wanted to go home," etc. etc.
transparx
United States
Local time: 23:32
English translation:No, it's not automatically correct...
Explanation:
As Brigitte and Carmen have said, 'and' is sometimes used this way, informally, but it is not strictly 'correct', and apt to lead to ambiguity.

In particular your use of the second 'I' in the phrase given makes it sound unnatural and somewhat child-like.

If you say simply "I was so tired and went to bed early", it makes the interchangeability with 'that' even less appropriate.

Compare:

"(I missed the party because) I was so tired and went to bed early"

"(I missed the party because) I was so tired and I went to bed early (to avoid seeing Fred)"

"I was so tired, I went to bed early" --- in this last case, the cause and effect is clear, without needing 'that' at all, just by the use of the comma --- in my view, probably the neatest and most natural way of rendering the phrase as given.

Putting '...and I...' can lead to it sounding like a child's narrative:

"I was so tired and I went to bed early and Mummy gave me a big kiss and in the morning I felt much better"

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Note added at 10 hrs 40 mins (2005-10-22 16:49:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Thankfully, Jane has highlighted the all-important wood that we seem to be losing amongst the trees; all of these different constructions may well be valid enough in their own ways, but Asker's fundamental question was "are these 2 expressions synonymous", and as Jane so rightly says, no they're not --- if the author is using language accurately and deliberately, they are expressing different meanings that will be obvious to any informed reader.

HOWEVER, it is not unreasonable to consider that either the author, or the reader (or more likely BOTH!) is not that informed, and so it might well just be a 'slip of the tongue', sloppy usage, but not all that uncommon (unfortunately!)

Language can be a very precise, sharp instrument, and needs to be used with care!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs 44 mins (2005-10-22 16:52:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Jane, I'm quite ready to acknowledge that this difference of meaning transcends geographical boundaries; I was only trying to suggest in all humility that I don't know enough about US usage for me to be qualified to make dogmatic statements about someone else's language.
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 05:32
Grading comment
I'd like to thank everyone for their comments. Let me clarify, however, that my question was not "are these 2 expressions synonymous", but "can these 2 expressions be synonymous." Judging by the discussion that took place here (as well as in the Eng-It section), it seems to me they can, though many may consider it to be sloppy usage.
Ruth's suggestion, endorsed later by Laurel, that "so" may have migrated from its natural home is also a plausible and interesting one from a syntactic perspective.
As I indicated above, morphologically realizing the second instance of "I" was necessary in order to test the question satisfactorily.

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +12No, it's not automatically correct...
Tony M
5 +1Description: two sentences versus result with dependent clause
Jane Lamb-Ruiz
5 +1yes, you can safely assume that... [see]
Carmen Schultz
4 +1I was tired, so I went to bed early
Laurel Porter
3 +2attempt (see below)
BrigitteHilgner
4 -1I was so tired that i went to bed.
punam


Discussion entries: 22





  

Answers


52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
i was so tired and i went to bed early
attempt (see below)


Explanation:
There may be cause and effect, but not necessarily so:
I was so tired and I went to bed early (because I had a bad cold).
It was so cold and I wanted to go home (because I was bored stiff).
It depends on the circumstances, I would say, one should not generalise.

BrigitteHilgner
Austria
Local time: 05:32
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  KathyT: yes, replace 'and' with 'that' IF the reason 'I went to bed early' is because 'I was tired'.
1 min
  -> Thank you!

agree  Carmen Schultz: good observation--I think more often than not people don't engage in careful or clear communication
2 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
47 mins
  -> Thank you!

disagree  Refugio: In that case, one might say I was very tired, really tired, extremely tired, but not 'so tired'.
8 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
i was so tired and i went to bed early
I was so tired that i went to bed.


Explanation:
as i was so tired, i went to bed is another term.
here "so" that refers to very.

punam
Local time: 04:32
Native speaker of: Native in GujaratiGujarati

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Armorel Young: I is always written as a capital letter in English, even in the middle of a sentence.
11 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
i was so tired and i went to bed early
I was tired, so I went to bed early


Explanation:
This would be one of the simpler solutions, I think (along with Dusty's comma version).

In formal writing (which this probably is not), it's best to avoid the use of "so" as a lone intensifier. The "I am so x that I y" is a different case, which can also be represented by "I am so x, I y".

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Note added at 10 hrs 16 mins (2005-10-22 16:24:51 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I agree with Jane's interpretation of the question; I may have overreached myself in assuming that the asker was looking for the causative formation. What I did was provide a very simple version of that, which admittedly was not precisely what he was asking for. I thought Dusty had dealt admirably with the basic question, and meant to suggest one other option.

Not for points, if that helps take the temperature down a bit! ;-)

Laurel Porter
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Tony M: Thanks for the mention, but I think in this case you've departed somewhat from the original meaning...?
1 hr
  -> Have I? Do you mean because of the missing intensifier? I was halfway thinking it might have just migrated, as Ruth says. If not, one could use "very".

agree  Refugio: Yes, I can't help feeling that the 'so' had migrated from its natural home.
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Ruth. That was my thought too, although I was too rushed to specify my entire thought process.

neutral  Jane Lamb-Ruiz: Laura. Sorry. I didn't mean to jump. I just don't think the question was that clear and then there's all this value judgment laid on top of, if you say it this way it's right and that way it's wrong. etc. :)
8 hrs
  -> What do you mean? It seemed to me that the asker wanted the causative version. I gave it. It was a bit difficult to tell what the asker wanted, wasn't it?
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +12
i was so tired and i went to bed early
No, it's not automatically correct...


Explanation:
As Brigitte and Carmen have said, 'and' is sometimes used this way, informally, but it is not strictly 'correct', and apt to lead to ambiguity.

In particular your use of the second 'I' in the phrase given makes it sound unnatural and somewhat child-like.

If you say simply "I was so tired and went to bed early", it makes the interchangeability with 'that' even less appropriate.

Compare:

"(I missed the party because) I was so tired and went to bed early"

"(I missed the party because) I was so tired and I went to bed early (to avoid seeing Fred)"

"I was so tired, I went to bed early" --- in this last case, the cause and effect is clear, without needing 'that' at all, just by the use of the comma --- in my view, probably the neatest and most natural way of rendering the phrase as given.

Putting '...and I...' can lead to it sounding like a child's narrative:

"I was so tired and I went to bed early and Mummy gave me a big kiss and in the morning I felt much better"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs 40 mins (2005-10-22 16:49:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Thankfully, Jane has highlighted the all-important wood that we seem to be losing amongst the trees; all of these different constructions may well be valid enough in their own ways, but Asker's fundamental question was "are these 2 expressions synonymous", and as Jane so rightly says, no they're not --- if the author is using language accurately and deliberately, they are expressing different meanings that will be obvious to any informed reader.

HOWEVER, it is not unreasonable to consider that either the author, or the reader (or more likely BOTH!) is not that informed, and so it might well just be a 'slip of the tongue', sloppy usage, but not all that uncommon (unfortunately!)

Language can be a very precise, sharp instrument, and needs to be used with care!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs 44 mins (2005-10-22 16:52:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Jane, I'm quite ready to acknowledge that this difference of meaning transcends geographical boundaries; I was only trying to suggest in all humility that I don't know enough about US usage for me to be qualified to make dogmatic statements about someone else's language.


Tony M
France
Local time: 05:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 156
Grading comment
I'd like to thank everyone for their comments. Let me clarify, however, that my question was not "are these 2 expressions synonymous", but "can these 2 expressions be synonymous." Judging by the discussion that took place here (as well as in the Eng-It section), it seems to me they can, though many may consider it to be sloppy usage.
Ruth's suggestion, endorsed later by Laurel, that "so" may have migrated from its natural home is also a plausible and interesting one from a syntactic perspective.
As I indicated above, morphologically realizing the second instance of "I" was necessary in order to test the question satisfactorily.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Carmen Schultz: Do you think there is a dichotomy here between UK and US forms of communicating in this scenario? By that, I mean UK speakers may be a bit more proper or formal, whereas in US people may be more chatty.
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Carmen! I don't know enough about the US side to be sure, but from a UK perspective, 'careful communication' still has a few adherents! ;-)

agree  Derek Gill Franßen: Yes, yes and yes - one could even read it as "I was so tired and I (even) went to bed early." Thus, I have to agree that "and" and "that" are not necessarily interchangeable. If cause and effect are meant, your solution with the comma is best (IMHO). :-)
2 hrs
  -> Thanks a lot, DG! You've come up with yet another (mis)interpretation I hadn't thought of!

agree  Amy Williams: yes
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Amy!

agree  Rachel Fell: "and" does not equal "therefore"; you could say"I was so tired and I stayed up late/went for a long walk": hardly causal!\\My view entirely...;)
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Rachel! Quite! "Down with sloppiness!"

agree  stone118: thanks for all your discussion :)
3 hrs
  -> Thanks a lot, Stone!

agree  Nick Lingris: If you don't use the so-called result clause (with or without 'that') and go for the rather childish 'and', then 'so' is simply emphatic and could be replaced by 'very'.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Nick!Knew we could rely on your expert input

agree  Lesley Clayton
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Lesley!

agree  Richard Benham: With Nick. "So" as pure intensifier is really best left to exclamations like "I'm so tired!" In other cases it seems to need something to relate to: "I went to bed early *because* I was so tired." (I.e. I was tired enough to need to go to be early.)
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, RB! It doesn't jar with me, but I do agree there are better constructions..

agree  Saleh Chowdhury, Ph.D.
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, Saleh!

agree  Lori Utecht/Vívian M Alves
6 hrs
  -> Thanks, Lori!

agree  Refugio: Yes! In elementary school, that is one of the big writing issues.
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Ruth!

agree  Asghar Bhatti
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Asghar!

neutral  Jane Lamb-Ruiz: Childlike and unnatural?? No, Dusty. The two ways of saying it fulfill different Speaker Intentions. Different speaking Strategies. Also, this has nothing to do with how English is spoken somewhere. The geography is completely irrelevant...
8 hrs
  -> Thanks, Jane!
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
i was so tired and i went to bed early
Description: two sentences versus result with dependent clause


Explanation:
This has Nothing to Do with BE or AE or Australian English.

One would have to know the Context but either form could appear in a written context or spoken context. And the choice of sentence depends on intended meaning.

Grammatically,the Sentences are Different.

1) I was so tired [one sentence] and [conjunction] I went to bed early [second sentence]. Describing two separate things.

Grammatical analysis: A compound sentence joined by end..

1) I was so tired that I went to bed early.

Grammatical analysis: A simple sentence with a dependent clause.

Describing how one thing is the result of another.

The difference here is the logic and what the speaker's intended meaning is...

- BOth are correct
- Both are different grammatically because they fulfill different intentions by the speaker

Answer to Your Question: NO. the First cannot be substituted for the second. They have different meanings.

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Note added at 9 hrs 56 mins (2005-10-22 16:04:19 GMT)
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I don't understand you people. Let all translators know this. The question was a what if....and given the sentences ninogulli gave, his questions merit being answered as they stand.

The two sentences Mean Different Things and Have Different Grammatical Structures.

What is all this "normative" rewrite about? And it is clear to any native speaker that and "and" construction is not the "same as" a construction with "so that".

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Note added at 10 hrs 8 mins (2005-10-22 16:16:35 GMT)
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A OK..These are all different sentences!!!!!!!!!!

1) I was so tired and I went to bed early.
2) I was so tired that I went to bed early.
3) I was tired so I went to bed early.

I am shocked by all these people trying to "normalize" their answers. This is right. That one is right. Without analyzing the actual sentences. Also, as for being "right". Speakers speak like they speak. Nino has given us his two sentences. Let's analyze them. Linguists analyze what they have. They don't write normative grammars. The original question is posed as a hypothetical, he is saying, what about. So his question is about the Logic of the Sentence. You might say, it is a philosophical question. In any case, sentence 1 is not the same as sentence 2 and can therefore not be "substituted" for it. Translators need to understand the difference between Normative and Non-normative.

I have tried to answer the grammar question asked by the ninogulli and not drift off into normative suppositions.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs 29 mins (2005-10-22 16:37:30 GMT)
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Note on Correction: People write and speak as they will. From a linguistics point of view, there is no such thing as Correct. There is what there is.

From a Translation Target Audience point of view: Translators have to wear the power fleece. You accept certain standards, and conventions as the result of accepting to do certain work. In terms of linguistics, that is merely shutting up and accepting the other guy's rules. In other words, one has to know how to wield the language in such a way as to produce the result the client seeks. All normative standards in this context become a set of rules one accepts to follow as a translator but that have no validity from a linguistics point of view, or any other, in my personal opinion.

cheers

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 hrs 39 mins (2005-10-22 21:47:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Carmen:

My answer is Only to do with the utterance produced by the asker. Nothing else. And I analyzed it on that basis. Nothing else. And there was a lot of normativity in the responses, which had nothing to do with question asked.

Jane Lamb-Ruiz
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Laurel Porter: We people were answering the question as we interpreted it. You have done the same. Good luck to you. :-)
24 mins
  -> Laurel..everyone was trying to"fix" something that is not broken..that is all...I cannot understand the answers attempting to do that..that's all..no harm intended.

agree  Tony M: Hear, hear! Surely the whole point here is that both COULD be right, depending on what you are trying to say; however, I stand by my comment that (in the particular example given), "so" followed by "and I" sounds a little stilted
26 mins
  -> Thanx Dusty

agree  Michael Barnett: I like your analysis the best Jane. The confusion arises because the construction is used incorrectly often enough to create genuine ambiguity .
30 mins
  -> Michael: can you explain what you mean? What confusion? Between a compound sentence and result clause? Kindly explain. :)

disagree  Carmen Schultz: See new comments.I should've qualified comment by saying "in informal scenarios." There is no absolute communication & the game "telephone" illustrates this even intralingually.Studies abound on the subject.
4 hrs
  -> You said: people don't engage in clear communication etc. That is a sweeping generalization and very disparaging of people's speech. People's speech is people's speech Carmen.
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
i was so tired and i went to bed early
yes, you can safely assume that... [see]


Explanation:
I think more often than not people don't engage in careful or clear communication, especially in informal conversations and/or writing. Remember, with the advent of email, the art of writing grammatically correct is dying--too many emoticons & shortcuts...
It would be safe to assume that the statement you ask about was made with a cause-and-effect logic but the proper words were not used to link the clauses.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 22 hrs 49 mins (2005-10-23 04:57:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here are some more thoughts on the question (when trying to add to the ask asker area, these responses often get cut off):

"I think there can be more than one reason;putting grammar aside, when we speak & when we write, language is not used with the same clarity and/or precision. For ex., when speaking among friends or family,things are said spontaneously. On the other hand, when giving a speech to an audience,we're so careful with our message that we need to prepare in advance.Thus the dynamics of language usage varies --pure & simple!

So it stands to reason that when we say something to a friend or family member, it may not always be grammatically correct,logical or precise; whereas, it's more likely that a rehearsed speech will be articulated more precisely,logically & correctly. Even when engaging in informal speech, when we realize we've made a mistake, most careful speakers will self-correct so as not to be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

When I had said that people engage in careless speech more often than not, I had these considerations in mind along with all the other thoughts I already mentioned about the advent of email and people using emoticons and email for most correspondence. I find it interesting that online chatting or instant messaging is another form of speech (although it's written) since it's ocurring in real time--in this case, the speech is written yet the written aspect (the Saussurian "sign") is minimal or not always well articulated, hence this is giving rise to what I call the carelesness of modern speech because when people then engage in face-to-face communication they tend to use the same signs (incomplete words such as abbreviations,or what have you)that they used while chatting, instant messaging or even text messaging. I guess you can say that this pattern online has a trickle effect that spills over into everyday communication, whether written or spoken.

As far as the transnational aspect, this may also hold, especially in countries where pc technology is in high use because these trends tend to have similar resonances around the globe."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 15 hrs 9 mins (2005-10-23 21:17:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In linguistics, and especially the study of syntax, the deep structure of a linguistic expression is a theoretical construct that seeks to unify several related observed forms. For example, the sentences "Pat loves Chris" and "Chris is loved by Pat" mean roughly the same thing and use similar words. Some linguists, in particular Noam Chomsky, have tried to account for this similarity by positing that these two sentences are distinct surface forms that were derived from an unobservable common source, the so-called deep structure underlying both sentences.

The concept of deep structure plays an important role in transformational grammar. In early transformational syntax, deep structures are derivation trees of a context free language. These trees are then transformed by a sequence of tree rewriting operations ("transformations") into surface structures. The terminal yield of a surface structure tree, the surface form, is then predicted to be a grammatical sentence of the language being studied. The role and significance of deep structure changed a great deal as Chomsky developed his theories, and since the mid 1990s deep structure no longer features at all (see transformational grammar).

It is tempting to regard deep structures as representing meanings and surface structures as representing sentences expressing those meanings, but this is not the concept of deep structure favoured by Chomsky. Rather, a sentence more closely corresponds to a deep structure paired with the surface structure derived from it, with an additional phonetic structure obtained from processing of the surface structure. It has been variously suggested that the interpretation of a sentence is determined by its deep structure alone, by a combination if its deep and surface structures, or by some other level of representation altogether (a "Logical Form"), as argued in 1977 by Chomsky's student Robert May. Chomsky may have tentatively entertained the first of these ideas in the early 1960s, but quickly moved away from it to the second, and finally the third. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the Generative semantics movement put up a vigorous defence of the first option, sparking an acrimonious debate.

The "surface" appeal of the deep structure concept soon led people from unrelated fields (architecture, music, politics) to use the term to express various concepts in their own work. In common usage, the term is often used as a synonym for Universal Grammar — the constraints which Chomsky claims govern the overall forms of linguistic expression available to the human species. This is probably due to the importance of deep structure in Chomsky's earlier work on Universal Grammar, though his concept of Universal Grammar is logically independent of any particular theoretical construct, including deep structure.


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Note added at 1 day 15 hrs 45 mins (2005-10-23 21:53:29 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

going back to your original Kudoz question, I guess I never clarified that one of the versions is not grammatically correct (the one that sounds childlike with "and"); but it is a very common way people express that kind of thought when in the careless or sloppy mode or even by those who don't know the rules (as young kids or immigrants, etc.), so from that standpoint it would be safe to assume that you can paraphrase the phrases with the meaning that is implied.

My whole point is that yes, there are grammar rules, but these rules are not always followed when engaging in informal communication, thus giving rise to constructions such as the example in the question. Even linguists have proposed that even in intralingual communication, there is never 100% exact two-way communication; a way to show this is through the game telephone, whereby you whisper a sentence or more to someone who says it to another, and so on , and finally when it comes back to the original speaker (in a language everyone knows), the end result may have a totally different meaning.

It didn't seem from your question that you wanted to know whether the constructions were correct or not; rather, it appeared that you wanted to know if the two constructions can be interpreted as having comparable meanings, which they can (depending on some factors), but the one with the "and" can also have other meanings as a couple of colleagues suggested (the ones that would make sense grammatically and logically).


Carmen Schultz
Local time: 22:32
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Bianca AH: Yes - correct me if I'm wrong but isn't 'so...that", as in "I was so tired that..", the *usual* construction?
11 mins
  -> yes, thanks!

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
38 mins
  -> thanks! !

disagree  Jane Lamb-Ruiz: there is no usual construction. The two sentences have different structures. They are the result of different narrative strategies.
8 hrs
  -> I understood the question & its ramifications; I answered it basing it on the logic issue and on my frame o reference & from a socio-linguistic viewpoint.Things are not black or white, there are gray areas & deep structures that need to be delved.
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