Diferenças entre "it, to and so" depois de verbos

In my English studies, I have been facing some expressions, and I don't know when I use them, which are the expressions "it", "to" and "so" after verbs.
I already heard about them in my English course, but I can't still understand them so far.

"Why do you say so?"
"I told him to go playing some soccer, that it would do him good, but he said he doesn't want to."
"Yuck, I don't want it at all!"

Is there any situation when those expressions are optional?
Thank you!

Anúncio Descubra seu nível de inglês em 15 minutos! - Converse grátis por 15 minutos com um professor e verifique como está o seu inglês.

Começar agora!
3 respostas
  Resposta mais votada
15 237
Those aren't "expressions". They have a functional and grammatical purpose in the sentences in which they're used and there's a difference between each one of them in terms of context.

"Why do you say so?"

Here the "so" is linked to an affirmative statement previously said by someone, whether it's positive or negative. Ex:

-I think soccer is better than basketball.
-Why do you say so? / Why do you think so?

-I don't think he's coming to the party tonight.
-Why do you say so?

That's the context in which it usually works.

"I told him to go play soccer, but he didn't want to"

I told him TO GO PLAY soccer, but he didn't want TO.

I think this one is pretty obvious. You use "to" like that when it's tied to an action that appeared in the sentence before that and you don't want to say it again for the sake of not being repetitive. Other examples:

My brother asked me to go play video games with him in his room but I didn't want to (play video games).
The student wanted me to explain something to him but I didn't know how to. (explain it)

"I don't want it at all"

The "it" works similarly to the previous explanation except that in most sentences it refers to a noun that was in the statement that led up to such reply, therefore in this case you use "it" and not "to". "it" is supposed to avoid noun repetition and "to" is supposed to avoid the repetition of verbs and actions.

-That cake doesn't look too good.
-Yeah, I don't want it at all. (it= the cake)
Anúncio Cambly Gostou da dica? Agora é hora de praticar!

Utilizar o inglês em interações reais levará você à fluência mais rápido. Pensando nisso, o nosso parceiro está oferecendo 15 minutos de aula grátis, não perca essa oportunidade. O link abaixo ativa o cupom!

Cupom: 15 minutos de aula Grátis!
Leonardo, a question.
Can I use "so" in some sentences that "it" and "so" fit? For me, that doesn't sound bad or strange.
"I told him to go play soccer, but he didn't want to/so"
"A: My girlfriend suffered an accident yesterday; B: I don't want it/so to happen to my girlfriend at all!"
If yes, when can I exchange them?
15 237
You could say "I told him to go play soccer but he didn't want to DO so".

In the other sentence it doesn't work, no. You should only use "it" in that case.
Ainda precisa de ajuda? Confira algumas opções:
  1. Clique no botão "Responder" (abaixo) e faça sua pergunta sobre este assunto;
  2. Faça uma nova pergunta;
  3. Converse grátis com um professor nativo por 15 minutos: Saiba como!