I have been studying English for nearly thirty years, but I'm still a learner. I often listen to BBCLearningEnglish.com. Its easy and pleasant for me.
Theres a story about bees and elephants in Kenya in the BBCs "Words in the News" (10 October, 2007) program. One of its sentences says: "This is the gentle buzz of bees in the English countryside, but the angry buzz of their fiercer cousins in Kenya is such that it terrifies the giant beasts."
As a matter of fact, the expressive expression you were pointing to is not "is such", but "such that." "Is", you see, is just one form of "be" – it can be replaced by "are", or "was", or "were", or "has been, have been, had been", etc.
Anyways, "such that" is used to give a reason or, if you like, an explanation for something. For instance, you could've said: My English is such that I still feel like a beginner even though I've been studying the language for 30 years.
"Such that" is considered formal and used by literary people, such as writers at the BBC. But one easy way to remember this two-word combination is to treat it as a variation of the more commonplace "so that". In fact, a "such that" sentence can always be turned into a "so... that" sentence.
Or almost always.
For example, the sentence you quoted from the BBC may be rewritten this way, with "such that" replaced by "so... that":
This is the gentle buzz of bees in the English countryside, but the angry buzz of their cousins in Kenya is so fierce that it terrifies the giant beasts.
Or this way:
This is the gentle buzz of bees in the English countryside, but the angry buzz of their cousins in Kenya is fierce, so fierce that it terrifies the giant beasts.
Or even this way:
This is the gentle buzz of bees in the English countryside, but the angry buzz of their cousins in Kenya is much fiercer, so much so that it terrifies the giant beasts.
The re-writings sound less BBC-like, but you get my drift.
Here are a few more examples of "such that", just so that you may get very familiar and comfortable with these two words whenever you see them side by side. Be familiar and comfortable with them, you see, is what it's about. In other words, keep studying.
1. John Tanner's remarks came during an Oct. 5 panel discussion on minority voters before the National Latino Congreso in Los Angeles. Tanner addressed state laws that require photo identification for voting, saying that elderly voters disproportionately don't have the proper IDs.
"That's a shame, you know, creating problems for elderly persons just is not good under any circumstance," Tanner said, according to video posted on YouTube. "Of course, that also ties into the racial aspect because our society is such that minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first."
- Obama Wants Official Fired for Comments (Associated Press, October 20, 2007)
2. The bald facts are these: Manchester United last night became the first English side in history to win the treble, beating Bayern Munich 2-1 in Barcelona to win the European Champions' League. But the manner of their victory was such that no one, not their manager Alex Ferguson, nor the thousands of delirious3 English supporters, not even the scriptwriters of Roy of the Rovers would dare to suggest. With the stadium clock showing 90 minutes, United scored not once but twice to wipe out an early goal scored by Bayern Munich and take home the European Cup, the largest piece of silverware in world football.
3. Neil Woodford could be dubbed5 the UK Equity6 Income King. Based in Henley-on-Thames, well away from the hubbub7 of the City of London, he has managed Invesco Perpetual High Income fund since 1988 and the closely related Invesco Perpetual Income fund since 1990. Both have had dull patches, notably8 in the late 1990s. But Woodford's reluctance9 to join the rush into technology, media and telecommunications companies at the height of the dotcom euphoria was fully10 vindicated11 in the subsequent bear market, and the funds' short and long-term success has been such that they have attracted of over £12 billion of investor's money.
- The case for UK Equity (uk.biz.yahoo.com, May 21, 2007)
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