So that

Status
Not open for further replies.

rightnow

Senior Member
Spanish
Many critics and grammarians have insisted that so must be followed by that in formal writing when used to introduce a clause giving the reason for or purpose of an action: He stayed so that he could see the second feature.

Both so (that) are acceptably used to introduce clauses that state a result or consequence: The Bay Bridge was still closed, so (that) the drive took an hour.
The American Heritage Dictionary entry: so

What are the reasons behind such a different treatment?
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Because these are two quite different sentences with different meanings:
    1. He stayed so that he could see the second feature. = He stayed in order to see...
    2. The Bay Bridge was still closed, so (that) the drive took an hour = with the result that the drive... and therefore the drive...
    Note the comma, which is the easiest way of identifying type 2. Personally, I wouldn't use that in a type 2 sentence: "so" simply means "therefore".
     
    Status
    Not open for further replies.
    Top