The usage of “so” vs. “it”

 

I came across this question and thought that it was interesting.  These are the comments I provided to the answerer and the asker.  I thought that I will share it with you.

 

So (adv.) = as stated or describe, in a manner or way indicated or suggested — often used as a substitute for a preceding clause

 

The doctor told another doctor what he thought was wrong with Mr. Harris and the other doctor agreed so.

 

= The doctor told another doctor what he thought was wrong with Mr. Harris and the other doctor agreed as (he was) told (by the doctor what he thought was wrong with Mr. Harris.)

 

I agree so.

 

I agree with your statement.  I agree “with” it. 

 

I had a red hat.  I didn’t like it and I told her so.

= I had a red hat.  I didn’t like it and I told her that I didn’t like it.

 

As for the usage of “I doubt it”.  It is colloquial English. 

A formal, more grammatically accurate usage would be using the word “so”.

 

"Will he ever stop worrying?"

“I doubt so

= I doubt that he will ever stop worrying.

 

"Do you think he'll live to be a hundred?"

"I don't know. I never thought about it.” 

= I don't know.  I never thought about the fact that he'll live to be a hundred.

=> Here, you need to use the word “it” because of the preposition “about”. 

 

This is situation where you will use the word “so” instead.

 

"Do you think he'll live to be a hundred?"

I don’t know.  I never thought so.

= I don’t know.  I never thought that he’ll live to be a hundred.

 

A rule of thumb:

It usually means an object.

"So" would substitute a preceding clause.

For example:
I have a red hat. I didn't like it and I told her so.
= I have a red hat. I didn't like it and I told her that I didn't like it.

 

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