“Is That So?” – Meaning Explained (Helpful Examples)

A key part of mastering a new language is to know the phrases often used in conversation, such as the sentence “is that so?” This article explores what this sentence means, how it can be used, and some words and phrases that are synonymous with it.

What Does “Is That So” Mean?

“Is that so” is a way to respond to someone after being told some information. It can be used as a polite response, as a way to express surprise or disbelief at the given information, a way to express skepticism, or even as a way to challenge the given information.

is that so meaning

“Is that so?” is a question you are very likely to hear in day-to-day conversation. You can use it as a way to respond to information given to you by another person.

This question can be used in many different ways and in various situations.

It can be used, for example, as a polite response when you don’t really know how to respond to something that has been said to you.

It can also be used as a way to express surprise or disbelief at the given information or a way to express your skepticism at what was said to you.

Finally, it can also be used as a way to challenge the information that was presented to you:

Asking “is that so?” is a complete sentence on its own. However, it does not make sense unless it is said as a response to something else that was said previously.

You can respond using this question by itself, but you can also choose to ask a follow-up question or to add additional information (usually to explain why you asked the question in the first place).

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What Does It Mean When a Girl Says “Is That So”?

When a girl says “is that so”, it doesn’t really mean anything different from when a boy asks the same question. However, there is a stereotype that exists of the “angry girlfriend or wife” who often responds to statements made by her partner with an angry “is that so?”

In real life, the meaning of the sentence “is that so” does not change whether it is a man or a woman saying it.

There is, however, a stereotype that exists in media of the “angry girlfriend or wife”. This stereotype is often depicted as a humorless shrew who responds to statements made by her partner with an angry “is that so?”.

It is often played for laughs in media. The humor lies in how “unreasonable” and “humorless” the wife or girlfriend seems, especially in contrast to her more carefree and easy-going partner.

How to Use “Is That So” In A Sentence

Below are examples of how to properly use “is that so?” in a conversation:

As a polite response:

  • Person A: I hate the color pink.
  • Person B: (not really knowing what else to say) Uh…is that so?

As a way to express surprise or disbelief at the given information:

  • Person A: So Derek just asked me to the prom.
  • Person B: Is that so?! I thought for sure he’d ask Kelly!

As a way to express skepticism:

  • Person A: Professor Arnolds announced that we aren’t having class today.
  • Person B: Is that so? He said on the first day that he’d never cancel a class at all.

As a way to challenge the given information:

  • Person A: Honey, I swear I was out with my buddies last night!
  • Person B: Is that so? Then why do you smell like Sally’s perfume?

Is That So vs. Is That So Now

There isn’t much of a difference between saying “is that so?” and “is that so, now?”. The only difference, perhaps, is that “is that so” is the more commonly used statement.

“Is that so?” and “is that so, now?” both mean the same thing. They are also interchangeable. For example:

  • Person A: I went out with Sean last night.
  • Person B: Is that so? Then why did Ashley say that he went out with Sean last night?

If we replace “is that so” with “is that so, now”, there isn’t much of a change in the context of the conversation:

  • Person A: I went out with Sean last night.
  • Person B: Is that so, now? Then why did Ashley say that he went out with Sean last night?

Is That So – Synonyms

Below are some words and phrases that are synonymous with “Is that so?”:

  • Is that right?
  • Is that true?
  • Oh yeah?
  • Really?
  • Are you for real?

Final Thoughts

After being told some information by someone, you can respond with the question: “Is that so?”. It can be used in many different ways, including as a way to express surprise, disbelief, or skepticism at the given information, or even as a way to challenge what was said.