Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,226
    #1

    so that light doesn't land

    My stereotype seems to be shattered here. I've always thought "so that" is a purpose, not a result unless accompanied by a comma, but this clearly shows it can be a result as well even without a comma. Sunlight wouldn't have any purpose of bending going through something, right?

    st154
    ex)The Sea Gypsies are nomadic people who live in a group of tropical islands in Myanmar and off the west coast of Thailand... But what distinguishes these children is that they can see clearly at great depths, without goggles. Most human beings cannot see clearly under water because as sunlight passes through water, it is bent so that light doesn't land where it should on the retina. Anna Gislen, a Swedish...
    Last edited by keannu; 16-Mar-2012 at 07:13.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #2

    Re: so that light doesn't land

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    My stereotype seems to be shattered here. I've always thought "so that" is a purpose, not a result unless accompanied by a comma, but this clearly shows it can be a result as well even without a comma. Sunlight wouldn't have any purpose of bending going through something, right?
    No, it doesn't clearly show anything unless you assume that the writer is infallible.
    It appears to be evidence that it can be a result as well. Now, let's look at this evidence.

    st154
    ex)The Sea Gypsies are nomadic people who live in a group of tropical islands in Myanmar and off the west coast of Thailand... But what distinguishes these children is that they can see clearly at great depths, without goggles. Most human beings cannot see clearly under water because, as sunlight passes through water, it is bent, so that the light doesn't land where it should on the retina.....
    First, all those multiple dots suggest that the passage is not correct (unless you've inserted them). What is this current fetish with putting strings of dots everywhere for no obvious purpose?

    I believe that commas should go where I've put them, and I'd strike out 'that', or use "... bent, such that the light ..."

  3. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,226
    #3

    Re: so that light doesn't land

    The dots are omitted parts for understanding the context, if I don't provide enough context, the teachers will have a hard time understanding the question. I think you mean "so that" without a comma can't normally be used for a result, so the writer made a mistake.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #4

    Re: so that light doesn't land

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    The dots are omitted parts for understanding the context, if I don't provide enough context, the teachers will have a hard time understanding the question. I think you mean "so that" without a comma can't normally be used for a result, so the writer made a mistake.
    "So that" without a comma, at least in this example, suggests the wrong meaning. Yes, I'm calling it a mistake.

    Yes, if you want to use the legitimate punctuation mark (the ellipsis) to show that you've omitted something, it has three dots, not 2, not 5.
    Ellipsis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  5. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,226
    #5

    Re: so that light doesn't land

    I corrected the ellipsis and it will look fine. So as you said, can I conclude "so that" as a result should contain a comma? But what confuses me is a Korean English dictionary's examples and they are all translated as results without commas and the meanings are definitely results.
    If these are wrong, they must be editorial mistakes. I'm asking this as my students told me their school English teacher told them "so that" without a comma can be a result.

    'so that'
    Korean English dictionary(http://endic.naver.com/)
    * An orphan stood the test so that he became the governor of the state.
    *His motions are swift as a falcon so that you can hardly recognize them.

    English-English dictionary(http://dictionary.reference.com/
    with the result that (often followed by that ):
    He checked carefully, so that the mistakes were caught.




  6. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #6

    Re: so that light doesn't land

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I corrected the ellipsis and it will look fine.
    Yes it looks much better.


    So as you said, can I conclude "so that" as a result should contain a comma? But what confuses me is a Korean English dictionary's examples and they are all translated as results without commas and the meanings are definitely results.
    If these are wrong, they must be editorial mistakes. I'm asking this as my students told me their school English teacher told them "so that" without a comma can be a result.

    'so that'
    Korean English dictionary(네이버 영어사*)
    * An orphan stood the test so that he became the governor of the state.
    This doesn't make sense to me.
    *His motions are swift as a falcon so that you can hardly recognize them.
    Yes, this is definitely a result, not a purpose. However, since the meaning is clear, a comma won't make any difference. So I agree with the English teacher in that some sentences with "so that" meaning a result don't need a comma.

    English-English dictionary(Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com
    with the result that (often followed by that ):
    He checked carefully, so that the mistakes were caught.
    He checked carefully so that the mistakes were caught. (This is possible, but I'd prefer the comma)
    This is a result. But you can tell, not from the comma, but because of the verb "were". If it were a purpose, it would have to read something like, "He checked carefully so that the mistakes could be caught." It would be normal not to have a comma here.

    Yes, "so that" without a comma can be a result if it's not ambiguous.
    You thought that you first example was ambiguous and I agreed with you. Therefore it needed a comma. Some sentences will or won't be ambiguous regardless of a comma. Therefore the presence or absence of a comma does not necessarily determine whether it is a clause or purpose or result.
    1. Without a comma, it's more likely a purpose. "He turned on the sprinkler so that the garden would get wet."
    2. With a comma, it's more likely a result. "He turned on the sprinkler, so [that] the clothes on the line got wet."
    It's simpler just to leave out 'that' for result, as I did in your original sentence, and here.

Similar Threads

  1. Turn light vs turning light
    By Akira in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-Mar-2010, 08:11
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Sep-2009, 21:45
  3. lesser light vs lowliest light
    By beeja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-Aug-2008, 15:17
  4. Light socket= Light switch?
    By sambistapt in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-May-2008, 14:46

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •