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    #1

    so that S + can, may, will ....

    I learned that 'so that S + can (may, will ) means in order for S to do.....
    Then I've found the sentences without can, may will.

    I'm doing my homework on the bus so that I don't get punished.
    I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I have time for a cup of tea.

    'can may, will' are not necessarily needed?
    or is there a difference of meaning? just literally different?

    1. I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I have time for a cup of tea.
    2. I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I can have time for a cup of tea.
    3. I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I will have time for a cup of tea.
    4. I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I may have time for a cup of tea.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: so that S + can, may, will ....

    Quote Originally Posted by brightsun17 View Post
    I learned that 'so that S + can (may, will ) means in order for S to do.....
    Then I've found the sentences without can, may will.

    I'm doing my homework on the bus so that I don't get punished.
    I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I have time for a cup of tea.

    'can may, will' are not necessarily needed?
    or is there a difference of meaning? just literally different?

    1. I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I do have time for a cup of tea. I added 'do' to make all the sentences analogous. It wouldn't normally occur there.
    2. I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I can have time for a cup of tea.
    3. I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I will have time for a cup of tea.
    4. I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I may have time for a cup of tea.
    Obviously they all have the same basic meaning. Arriving 20 minutes early gives you time for a cup of tea.
    But the connotations are all different.
    3. is wrong grammatically. Your sentence is about a habitual action. "Will" doesn't really work.
    4. is not very natural.
    2. is probably the most natural way of saying it. You arrive early, so you are able (can) have a cup of tea.

    You really need to approach all of these verbs separately and learn their meanings. It's a significantly complicated task, and not one we can do for you in a forum like this. Besides, there are good grammar books that can explain those auxiliary and modal verbs.
    If you have a specific question, we'd be happy to answer it.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 15-Jun-2013 at 14:02. Reason: Fixing typo.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: so that S + can, may, will ....

    I find 2 quite unnatural: "I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I can have time for a cup of tea". I find the combination of "can" and "have time" doesn't work.
    I would use either:

    I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I have time for a cup of tea.
    or
    I like to arrive 20 minutes early so that I can have a cup of tea.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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