Così o così tanto?

Così means “so” and it used to indicate that something is or happens to a great extent. Così tanto means “so much” and refers to a large yet unknown quantity.

Sono così stanco.

I am so tired.

Ho bevuto così tanto che mi gira la testa.

I drank so much that my head is spinning.

Così (so) is invariable, so it doesn't change depending on gender or number, and it is used before adjectives and adverbs.

Sei così lontano!

You are so far away!

La tua casa è così bella, vorrei averne una uguale.

Your house is so lovely, I wish I had one like that.

Così tanto/a/i/e (so much) is used in front of nouns and adjectives that work like nouns in Italian, such as caldo, freddo (hot, cold) etc. Example: Ho così tanta fame (I am so hungry).

Non ci sono camere per così tanti ospiti.

There aren't enough rooms for so many guests.

Fa così tanto caldo!

It's so hot!

Così tanto (so much) is invariable if it comes after a verb:

Ho parlato così tanto che ho perso la voce.

I spoke so much that I lost my voice.

Non ho mai mangiato così tanto.

I have never eaten so much.

Note: così can also be used in a different way to mean “in this manner" or “like this/that”.

Non fare così Non fare in questo modo

Don't do it like that → Don't do it in that manner

Voglio comprare un vestito così Voglio comprare un vestito fatto in questo modo

I want to buy a dress like that → I want to buy a dress made in this manner

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