In Spanish the structure:
[verb] + tan [adjective/adverb] + que [sentence]
is used to express what in English would be:
[verb] + so [adjective/adverb] that [sentence]
Have a look and listen to the following examples:
El paciente está tan debil que necesita permanecer en el hospital.The patient is so weak that he needs to stay in hospital.
El ordenador funciona tan lentamente que no puedo terminar el trabajo.The computer is so slow that I can't finish my work.
Estos zapatos resultaron tan buenos que he comprado otro par igual.These shoes were so good that I bought another identical pair.
Ese camión va tan rápido que va a salirse de la carretera.That lorry is going so fast that it's going to go off the road.
This type of structure shows a cause, expressed in the first part of the sentence and an effect or consequence expressed after que.
This structure doesn't work when we invert the sentence, i.e. first the consequence and then the cause:
Es tan guapo que siempre tiene admiradores alrededor.
He is so handsome that he always has admirers around him.
Que siempre tiene admiradores alrededor es tan guapo.
Be careful not to confuse this construction with the comparative structure:
Tan [adjective/adverb] como... = As [adjective/adverb] as...
Remember that adjectives need to agree with what they are modifying:
Su camisa está tan sucia que debe lavarse ya.
His shirt is so dirty that it must be washed straight away.
Estos chicos son tan altos que chocan con el techo.
These guys are so tall that they touch the ceiling.
Sometimes we use the same structure in shorter exclamatory sentences:
Verb + tan + adjective/adverb
Here are some examples:
Me encantan estos chocolates, ¡son tan buenos!I love these chocolates, they are so good!
No me gusta ir en el coche con Juan, ¡conduce tan rápido!I don't like going in the car with Juan, he drives so fast!
See also Using tan ... como = as ... as (comparatives with adjectives and adverbs) and Forming exclamatory sentences with qué + noun + más/tan + adjective
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