So that, such that
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I have been studying English for nearly thirty years, but I'm still a learner. I often listen to 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."

Why "is such"? I felt that "is such" is expressive1, but I can not explain why and I can't use the expression myself.

Could you explain it for me? It seems to me that you can explain almost everything.

My comments:

The "almost" in "you can explain almost everything" is redundant2, lol.

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.

- Drama at the death as United make history (The Guardian4, May 27, 1999)

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 (, May 21, 2007)


1 expressive shwz4     
  • Black English can be more expressive than standard English.黑人所使用的英语可能比正式英语更有表现力。
  • He had a mobile,expressive,animated face.他有一张多变的,富于表情的,生动活泼的脸。
2 redundant Tt2yO     
  • There are too many redundant words in this book.这本书里多余的词太多。
  • Nearly all the redundant worker have been absorbed into other departments.几乎所有冗员,都已调往其他部门任职。
3 delirious V9gyj     
  • He was delirious,murmuring about that matter.他精神恍惚,低声叨念着那件事。
  • She knew that he had become delirious,and tried to pacify him.她知道他已经神志昏迷起来了,极力想使他镇静下来。
4 guardian 8ekxv     
  • The form must be signed by the child's parents or guardian. 这张表格须由孩子的家长或监护人签字。
  • The press is a guardian of the public weal. 报刊是公共福利的卫护者。
5 dubbed dubbed     
v.给…起绰号( dub的过去式和过去分词 );把…称为;配音;复制
  • Mathematics was once dubbed the handmaiden of the sciences. 数学曾一度被视为各门科学的基础。
  • Is the movie dubbed or does it have subtitles? 这部电影是配音的还是打字幕的? 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 equity ji8zp     
  • They shared the work of the house with equity.他们公平地分担家务。
  • To capture his equity,Murphy must either sell or refinance.要获得资产净值,墨菲必须出售或者重新融资。
7 hubbub uQizN     
  • The hubbub of voices drowned out the host's voice.嘈杂的声音淹没了主人的声音。
  • He concentrated on the work in hand,and the hubbub outside the room simply flowed over him.他埋头于手头的工作,室外的吵闹声他简直象没有听见一般。
8 notably 1HEx9     
  • Many students were absent,notably the monitor.许多学生缺席,特别是连班长也没来。
  • A notably short,silver-haired man,he plays basketball with his staff several times a week.他个子明显较为矮小,一头银发,每周都会和他的员工一起打几次篮球。
9 reluctance 8VRx8     
  • The police released Andrew with reluctance.警方勉强把安德鲁放走了。
  • He showed the greatest reluctance to make a reply.他表示很不愿意答复。
10 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
11 vindicated e1cc348063d17c5a30190771ac141bed     
v.澄清(某人/某事物)受到的责难或嫌疑( vindicate的过去式和过去分词 );表明或证明(所争辩的事物)属实、正当、有效等;维护
  • I have every confidence that this decision will be fully vindicated. 我完全相信这一决定的正确性将得到充分证明。
  • Subsequent events vindicated the policy. 后来的事实证明那政策是对的。 来自《简明英汉词典》