so that

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From Middle English so that, so þat, sa þat, swo þat, swa þat, from Old English swā þæt, equivalent to so +‎ that. Cognate with Saterland Frisian sodät, West Frisian sadat, Dutch zodat, German sodaß, sodass.


so that

  1. Indicates purpose; in order that, with the result that.
    He must die so that others might live.
  2. Indicates purpose; in such a way that, with the intent that.
    He tied a complex knot so that others would find it hard to undo.

Usage notes[edit]

  • “So that” prefaces a subordinate clause to show purpose or to give an explanation. It demonstrates a correlation between an antecedent action and an intended consequent. In a clause 1 “so that” clause2 format, the first clause represents an antecedent proposition and the second clause constitutes a consequence/effect. In a “So that” clause 1 [comma], clause 2 format, the first clause is the intended consequent and the second clause is the antecedent proposition.


Related terms[edit]