How to Use “So am I” and “So do I” like a Native Speaker
“So do I.”
“So have I.”
“So am I.”
You’ve probably heard these phrases before. Native speakers use them a lot in conversation. But what do they mean? And how do they differ from “Me too”?
Today, we’ll help you get to the bottom of this mystery so you’ll know exactly what people mean when they use them and be able to use them in English conversations yourself!
So ... I.
Long story short, all phrases that start with “So” and end with “I” mean “Me too.”
If you have trouble understanding the dialogues above, simply replace all the “So ... I.” phrases with “Me too.” They mean the same thing and are both used in formal and informal English.
But how does “So … I.” mean “Me too”? Well, “so” is a word which English speakers often use to avoid repetition.
Just think about phrases like “I think so.” If someone asks you “Does your cat really like you?”, you could reply “I think so” instead of “I think my cat really likes me.” The same applies when you’re agreeing with the statement, “I love spicy food.” Instead of saying “I love spicy food too,” you can simply say “So do I.”’
Why Is “I” at the End of the Sentence?
You probably learned that English sentences start with the subject. So why is “I” at the end of “So … I”?
Well, this isn’t the first time you’re seeing normal English sentence structure inverted (switched around). For example, when you ask someone “Where are you?” that’s also an inversion of normal sentence structure (“You are … ”).
The process for inverting sentences for “So … “ is similar to the process of inverting a sentence to turn it into a question. If the verb in the sentence is “to be” or a modal verb, keep it.
- I am busy. → So am I.
- I can speak English. → So can I.
- I will be there. → So will I.
- If I won the lottery, I would buy a mansion. → So would I.
If the sentence contains some other verb, use the helping verb, “do.” Unlike in questions, where you use “do” along with the original verb, in this case you simply replace the original verb with “do.”
- I love spicy food. → So do I.
- I go jogging every day. → So do I.
- I eat a lot for breakfast. → So do I.
- I have twenty dollars in my pocket. → So do I.
Just make sure to pay attention to verb tense.
- I loved spicy food when I was a kid. → So did I.
- I’ve been sick recently. → So have I.
When to Use “So … I” Instead of “Me too”
You might be wondering when you need to use “So … I'' instead of “me too.” “Me too” is simpler and means the same thing, so it makes sense to use it whenever you can.
However, there are two cases when “Me too” can’t be used.
1. As part of a longer sentence
Unlike “Me too,” “So do I” can be part of a longer sentence. For example, if you wanted to combine the sentences, “Jay likes dogs” and “I like dogs too,” you would need to say one of the following:
- Jay likes dogs, and so do I.
- Jay likes dogs, and I do too.
In addition to sounding unnatural, the sentence “Jay likes dogs and me too” is also unclear. It could mean something different: “Jay likes dogs and he likes me too.”
2. With other pronouns
While the phrase “me too” is very convenient, it only works for the pronoun “me.” You can’t say “he too” or “they too.” You’ll either need to include a verb (“He does too.”) or use the “So + [verb] + [pronoun]” structure.
- Jay likes dogs, and so does my sister.
- Jay likes dogs, and my sister does too.
Here are some more examples:
- I’ve been to China before. → So has my sister.
- I can speak Italian. → So can my friend, Bill.
- I think that’s a great idea.→ So do we.
- I’m hungry. → So are they.
Bonus: “Neither ... I”
While we’re on this topic, let’s also go over “Neither … I” – the negative version of “So … I.” It means “Me neither.”
- I don’t speak German. → Neither do I.
- I’ve never had a pet before. → Neither have I.
- I’m not a fan of pizza. → Neither is my mom.
Want to get some practice using these phrases in real life? Or just want to improve your English speaking skills? Then book a lesson with an Engoo tutor! We also have a grammar lesson on “So/Neither do I” that you can study with the tutor.