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ex) He had so little confidence in his ability to write that he mailed his writings secretly at night to editors


I'm familiar with the structure 'so+adjective+a/an+noun'

ex) It was so warm a day that I could hardly work


But the sentence above have the structure 'so+adj+noun'. Is this possible?


In addition, how about this? Is this correct?

ex) He had such little confidence in his ability to write that he mailed his writings secretly at night to editors

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HoonyBut the sentence above have the structure 'so+adj+noun'. Is this possible?

The sentence is correct. Little is an adverb in it, not an adjective. It describes the amount of confidence he had, not what the confidence was like. Such little confidence is incorrect.

CB

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He had [so / such little confidence in his ability to write that he mailed his writings secretly at night to editors].


It's fine with "so" or "such", either of which can 'license' the underlined content clause.

Note that "little" is not an adjective here, but a determinative -- it determines the bracketed noun phrase. "So / such" serve as external modifiers of the noun phrase.

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Comments  
Cool BreezeSuch little confidence is incorrect.

Thanks a lot

But I'd like to know the reason why 'such little confidence ' is incorrect

Could you explain this for me?

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BillJ"So / such" serve as external modifiers of the noun phrase.

Thanks a lot

Is there meaning difference between 'so little confidence' and 'such little confidence' ???

No.