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Thread: so (that)

  1. #11
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    Default Re: so (that)

    Agh. I know, curious. It should fit, shouldn't it? <hands up>

    Why don't these work?

    *I fell down, so that I broke my leg.
    *I thought I would fail, so that I didn't write the exam.
    *I realized the world was coming to an end, so that I stopped going to work.

    I've asked others to join in on the puzzle. Let's wait 'n see what they've to offer.

  2. #12
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: so (that)

    It doesn't work for me. There is a closer link between the two parts of the test question, which doesn't allow the use of 'that' for me. I rarely, if ever, use 'so that' for results, but definitely wouldn't here. I think that the greater the connection, the less likely the use of 'that'. (Thinking aloud on an interesting case)

  3. #13
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    Default Re: so (that)

    I've this sneaky suspicion we may be dealing with dialect variation:

    USA, "so that" <result>
    UK, "so that" <result>

  4. #14
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: so (that)

    It could be- I don't use it.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: so (that)

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Agh. I know, curious. It should fit, shouldn't it? <hands up>
    Why don't these work?
    *I fell down, so that I broke my leg.
    *I thought I would fail, so that I didn't write the exam.
    *I realized the world was coming to an end, so that I stopped going to work.
    I've asked others to join in on the puzzle. Let's wait 'n see what they've to offer.
    Well, Casiopea, you have given some examples where "so that" would seem awkward. Can you give a few examples of "so that" in result clauses?
    Last edited by curious; 15-Apr-2006 at 17:01.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: so (that)

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    It could be- I don't use it.
    Does that it is not used in everyday English justify its being wrong? Are the sentences below quotefrom bbc.co.uk result clauses or reason clauses? Well, it is acceptable to use "so that" in result clauses in some sentences, but not in some other. I wonder why this so. Have you got any idea? How can you refute A? Or can you?
    In television and film it's very different, it's almost the opposite, so that there are different skills in managing a project from an idea to the script ...
    bbc.co.uk
    The straps should be soft enough not to chafe, adjustable, so that they don't dig in to your skin, and wide enough to give proper support.
    bbc.co.uk
    I also need to make internet shopping part of my weekly or bi-weekly routine, so that I donít have to grapple with a big shop Ė virtually impossible on a ...
    bbc.co.uk
    "We've got a number of sexual referral centres right across the country, much better doctors, much better medical examinations, so that women now are coming forward in increasing numbers."
    bbc.co.uk

  7. #17
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: so (that)

    OK, so there are examples, but are they as clearcut as the original question? If not, they aren't directly analagous. The fourth answer fits the bill perfectly, while the best we can say about the first is that the structure can possibly be used in some cases.

    In television and film it's very different, it's almost the opposite, because there are different skills in managing a project from an idea to the script ...

    This one is clearly differentn from the original example. However, things aren't always so clear and there are gradations, cases where it's hard to decide whether it's a reason or a result. However, the original question is not one of these cases- it's crystal clear what it is. I'm afraid I might not be able to give you a reason that will convince you, but I would mark a) as an error.
    Last edited by Tdol; 16-Apr-2006 at 16:03.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: so (that)

    <He realized that the world could run out of key resources, (so that) he was a harsh critic of the wastefulness of modern industrial society.>

    I wonder whether there's a Necker cube aspect to this sentence. My dictionary gives "with the result that" as a meaning of "so that"; and I do find it possible to read the sentence with that sense. On the other hand, native intuition is lined up against it.

    Is the problem one of structure?

    Flipping the cube one way, I find that the "so that" clause is a consequence of his "realization", which seems fine. When it flips the other way, though, the "so that" clause seems to be part of "what he realized", which is clearly nonsensical.

    Does this ambiguity exist for anyone else? Or should I visit an oculist?

    MrP

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    Default Re: so (that)

    It's very hard to put your finger on some intuitive things. MrP, would you use 'so that' in this way? In Curious's examples, I wouldn't have used it in any of them.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: so (that)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious
    Does that it ["so that"] is not used in everyday English justify its being wrong?
    Well, let's look at how it's being used. Here are the British English examples you posted. (Note that, replacing "so that" with consequently" works for I. and III., not II., and that while [4] fits III., its meaning changes.)

    I. "so that" is used to introduce a reason or cause. It's equivalent to for (the reason) that, in that, because

    [1] In television and film it's very different, it's almost the opposite, in that / for (the reason) that / because / so that there are different skills in managing a project from an idea to the script ...

    [4] "We've got a number of sexual referral centres right across the country, much better doctors, much better medical examinations, in that / for (the reason) that / because / so that women now are coming forward in increasing numbers."


    II. "so that" is used to introduce a purpose. It's equivalent to in order that, to the end that

    [2] The straps should be soft enough not to chafe, adjustable, in order that / so that they don't dig in to your skin, and wide enough to give proper support.

    => So that they don't dig . . . , the straps should . . . .

    [3] I also need to make internet shopping part of my weekly or bi-weekly routine, in order that / so that I donít have to grapple with . . .

    => So that I don't have to . . . , I also need to . . . .


    III. "so that" is used to introduce a consequence, result, or effect. It's equivalent to such that

    [4] "We've got a number of sexual referral centres right across the country, much better doctors, much better medical examinations, such that women now are coming forward in increasing numbers."

    => Were the centres set up to draw in numbers (effect III.) or was it the other way around (cause II.)?

    Source: http://www.brainydictionary.com/word...hat229469.html

    Test Question
    I. "so that" (cause)
    He realized the world could run out of key resources, so that he was a harsh critic of the wastefulness of modern industrial society.

    The underlined portions represents the cause of his realization.

    => Because he was a harsh critic, he realized the world could run out of key resources.

    In other words,

    => He realized the world could run out of key resources, because / so that he was a harsh critic . . . . <quite awkward, wouldn't you agree?>


    III. "so that" (effect)
    He realized that the world could run out of key resources, so that he was a harsh critic of the wastefulness of modern industrial society.

    The underlined portion represents the effect of his realization:

    => He was a harsh critic because he realized the world could run out of key resources.

    Now, obviously his being a harsh critic didn't cause him to realized the world could run out of key resources (II. "so that") - rather, it's the other way around: his realization altered his behavior (III. "so that). But how does one discriminate bewteen the two sans additional context? (Check out [4], the bbc.co.uk example, again. )

    Is "so that" a viable choice? Yes. Is "so that" ambiguous"? Yes. So, given that information, which of the two here works best to disambiguate the test question?

    A) so that <consequently; in that; for (the reason) that; because>
    D) and so <consequently; and>

    It's your choice.

    Note that, the test question is testing your understanding of the function and distribution of co-ordinating and subordinating conjunctions. "so that" works, but it works too well. It offers more than one meaning, whereas "and so" does not. It serves to define clearly the cause & effect relationship by separating the clauses with "and".

    Hope that helps out some.
    All the best.

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