so vs. then

By | February 18, 2017
so vs. then
I’ve been to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s a tower, and it’s leaning. You look at it, but nothing happens, so then you look for someplace to get a sandwich.
Ho visitato la torre pendente di Pisa. E’ una torre, e pende. La guardi, ma non succede nulla, quindi poi cerchi qualche posto per prendere un sandwich.
- Danny DeVito
✓ There’s a power cut, so we’re using candles.
✗ There’s a power cut, *then* we’re using candles.
C’è un’interruzione di corrente, quindi stiamo usando le candele.
✓ Heat the oil, then add the chopped onions and fry for two minutes.
Scaldate l’olio, quindi aggiungete le cipolle tritate e fatele friggere per due minuti.
Sometimes Italian speakers of English confuse so and then, probably because they can both be translated by the Italian word quindi.
We can use so to introduce the result of another thing. For example:
✓ I’d left my glasses at home, so I couldn’t see a thing.
✗ I’d left my glasses at home, *then* I couldn’t see a thing.
Avevo dimenticato a casa gli occhiali, quindi non vedevo nulla.
We can use then to introduce the next thing that happened. For example:
✓ I began teaching almost by accident. Then I fell in love with my job.
Ho cominciato a insegnare quasi per caso. Quindi/Poi mi sono innamorato del mio lavoro.

Now try the quiz below! There are TEN answers. The pass mark is 90% (9 out of 10). Click on the blue arrows to go to the next or previous question. You can check your answers immediately or when you've finished the quiz.

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