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    #1

    possible interpretations of the sentence

    Hello everybody,

    I would like to know about possible interpretations of the following sentence:

    He was so annoyed that he didn't get that job.

    I think that in most contexts this means that his annoyance was caused by his failure to get a job, and the conjunction "that" can freely be replaced by "because",am I right?
    But is it possible to interpret previous sentence in a way that his annoyance effected his failure to get the job (e.g maybe he was annoyed with something and couldn't concentrate during the interview for the job)or I should express that like:

    He was so annoyed so he didn't get that job.

    or

    He was so annoyed and that was the reason why he didn't get that job.

    What word or expression beside "so" and "that was the reason why" would also be convinient to link the cause (annoyance) and the result ( failure to get a job)?

    Thanks

    Velimir

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    #2

    Re: possible interpretations of the sentence

    He was so annoyed that he didn't get that job. means He was very annoyed because he didn't get that job.
    He was so annoyed so (that) he didn't get that job. means He was very annoyed and, as a result, he was turned down.

    That's what I think - there are no other meanings possible, but of course I may be wrong.

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    #3

    Re: possible interpretations of the sentence

    Hello Engee,

    Thanks for the answer.In your answer you've put two options:

    1.He was so annoyed that he didn't get that job. means He was very annoyed because he didn't get that job.
    2.He was so annoyed so (that) he didn't get that job. means He was very annoyed and, as a result, he was turned down.

    I believe also that a "normal" interpretation of the sentence I've posted is like you've put it in 1. But I wonder is there any context which would justify interpretation of the conjunction "that" as "as a result" in the given sentence what would give that sentence the meaning as you've put it in 2,with a changed conjunction.
    After your answer I wonder also is "so" interchangeable with "so that" in this case.I understand "so that" as "in order to" and I'm not familiar with its use in sense "as a result".I would like to put some conjunction most adequate to link clauses, and I want to know what are possible options.It seems that "so" is the best option, since "that was the reason why" and "as a result" seems too lengthy to me.

    Thanks again

    Velimir

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    #4

    Re: possible interpretations of the sentence

    You know, it's a really tricky question, Velimir.

    As the conjunction, so and so that are interchangeable as long as their meaning conveys the idea of showing the result of something:
    He has a criminal record so (that) he didn't get the job he was applying for. [as a result]

    Again, as the conjunction, so and so that are interchangeable as long as their meaning conveys the idea of showing the purpose of something:
    We worked extremely hard so (that) everything would be ready for the performance. [in order to]

    And finally, the conjunction so with the meaning of showing reason for something is never interchangeable with so that:
    I got a fit of severe headache so I took some aspirin.

    Hmm, the more I look at your first sentence, the more inclined I get to say that it is really ambiguous in its meaning...

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    #5

    Re: possible interpretations of the sentence

    Your initial sentence is combined with the adverb so and the conjunction that with the adjective annoyed between the two. So, to me, now the stronger impression I get, however, is that of giving the result rather than the reason:

    He was so annoyed that he didn't get that job. = He was so annoyed, and as a result, he didn't get that job. They may not have liked his behaviour.

    He was so annoyed that he didn't get that job. = He was annoyed for the reason that he didn't get that job. Not getting that job caused his annoyance.

    And just have a look at the following sentence:
    He was so annoyed that he didn't get that job that he drank himself into a stupor.

    The first blue that in the above sentence means because, and the other means as a result, or maybe I'm wrong about that...

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    #6

    Re: possible interpretations of the sentence

    Hello Engee,

    Thanks a lot for your answers.

    In your first post you've explained the point on "so" and "so that" really nice . And this part is all clear to me :
    1."Again, as the conjunction, so and so that are interchangeable as long as their meaning conveys the idea of showing the purpose of something:
    We worked extremely hard so (that) everything would be ready for the performance. [in order to]

    2.And finally, the conjunction so with [I]the meaning of showing reason for something [/I]is never interchangeable with so that:
    I got a fit of severe headache so I took some aspirin "

    But the initial part I don't understand,i.e the use of "so that" as a conjunction which indicates the result in the clause which follows it.

    3."As the conjunction, so and so that are interchangeable as long as their meaning conveys the idea of showing the result of something:
    He has a criminal record so (that) he didn't get the job he was applying for. [as a result]"


    In this example it seems that the first clause indicate the reason for the second. However,I don't quite understand this use of "so that", but nevermind.

    In your second post you've elaborated the point exactly the way I meant.Your last example is perfectly adequate to this point :

    "He was so annoyed that he didn't get that job that he drank himself into a stupor."

    And I agree,of course.."The first blue that in the above sentence means because, and the other means as a result.."

    Thank you very much Engee

    Best regards

    Velimir

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    #7

    Re: possible interpretations of the sentence

    Let me try to explain the issue again, but this time with the support of the Longman Advanced English Dictionary:

    1. so (that) - used to say that something happens or is true as a result of the situation you have just stated:
    There are no buses, so you'll have to walk.
    The gravestones were covered with moss so that it was impossible to read the names on them.

    2. so (that) - in order to make something happen, make something possible etc:
    He lowered his voice so Doris couldn't hear.
    Why don't you start out early so that you don't have to hurry?

    3. so - used to say that someone does something because of the reason just stated:
    I was feeling hungry, so I made myself a sandwich.

    That's all I can provide you with regarding the subject. I'm sure there are some people professionally dealing with such topics, being able to write some more about that. All we can do now is wait.

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    #8

    Re: possible interpretations of the sentence

    Thank you for your detailed explanation Engee. It was really useful and you've explained the point clearly.

    Best regards and thanks again
    Velimir


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    #9

    Re: possible interpretations of the sentence

    Great! But I think this is much simpler. It depends on whether the that-clause after annoyed modifies annoyed, in which case: His annoyance would derive from not getting the job or, the that-clause combines with 'so' in the so...that structure, and then he didn't get the job because he was pretty annoyed (and the employer didn't like his attitude). Therefore, I think that the sentence is ambiguous and, although I would go for the first interpretation, I cannot say that the second one is not possible. Context would make it clear. I don't know if I'm wrong but if I am I can't see why.

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    #10

    Re: possible interpretations of the sentence

    Hello Wuisi,

    First,thanks for joining the discussion.I would also say that there sometimes can be two interpretations of the sentence,but it is certain that previous context often removes the ambiguity.There is a lot options I would say.Maybe a native speaker would never say it in the sense that annoyance caused his failure to get the job.If he wanted to say something like that he would maybe formulate it some other way to avoid the ambiguity.Or maybe it is fairly common and he would say so and in the after talk make clear what he/she meant.Or maybe there is no rule and the adjective (or type of subordinate clause) governs whether it is acceptable or not( He was so scared that he couldn't breathe ...He was so nervous that he couldn't sleep) I don't know. There is certainly some option which is a prevalent reaction in discourse,since this kind of situation is not infrequent at all.

    Thanks

    Velimir

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