How do you use 'zo' as an adverb?

I've seen zo used just like in English, as conjunctions, and as comparing things which all make sense to me but when using it as an adverb I get tripped up. Here are some sentences I've seen it in but don't know why:

  • Gaat goed zo?
  • Wij openen zo de deuren...
  • Ga zo door!
  • Zo. Ik begrijp het nu.
  • Is het zo goed, of wil je nog meer?
October 25, 2017


"Zo" is just one of those little words that makes the Dutch language flow better and, I don't know, friendlier-sounding? It can have different meanings depending on the sentence or context. Here are my translations of your sentences.

"Gaat het goed zo?" = It it going well like this? "Wij openen zo de deuren" = We are going to open the doors very soon (in this this case 'zo' comes from the longer 'zo meteen' which means right away) "Ga zo door!" = Keep on going like this! "Zo, ik begrijp het nu" = Alright (or okay), I understand it now. "Is het zo goed, of wil je nog meer?" = Is it good like this, or do you want still more?

Here's a link to the Van Dale online dictionary: You can type in a Dutch word and find the English translations. Make sure you choose NL-EN from the purple drop-down menu next to the space where you type your word. It has some good examples for zo used as an adverb, but for some reason when I post the link here it won't open to that section.

October 25, 2017

Thank you! Just wondering, why is zo put before goed? Similarly, why is 'worth it' written as het waard and not waard het?

October 25, 2017

"goed zo" is also possible, in that sentence.

As for your second question, I don't think there's a reason for it.

October 26, 2017

I am barely scratching the surface with Dutch, I am not exactly sure. Judging by the sentences, it might be used to insist on a particular way of doing things (it, this or that; Is het zo goed = Is it correct this way; gaat goed zo?=is it okay?).

October 25, 2017

"Zo" means "like this".

"is it going well like this?"

"this is how we open doors"

"continue like this/that"

Also, it's an interjection to ask for attention. In "zo. ik begrijp het nu" you'd translate it as "Right!".

When someone says just "zo!" as a reaction to something, it means something like "wow!". I saw a car drive into the canal in front of my house, and I said "Zo!". When a crane arrived with an incompetent driver who made his crane topple and fall into the canal too, again I said "Zo!". Then the firemen came with a crane so big it couldn't even make the turn to get close, "Zo!". Finally, two police cranes got everything out of the water.

October 25, 2017
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