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    #1

    so that/ in order that we couldn't

    L. G. Alexander's Longman English Grammar says in a negative clause of purpose we can't use 'can't/couldn't':

    I arrived early so that/ in order that I might not/ should not/ would not miss anything. (Not: could not)

    My question is, are the 'so/ so that' clauses below with 'couldn't/ can hardly/ cannot' clauses of purpose or result/consequence? If they are clauses of purpose, can we use 'won't/wouldn't ' to replace them?


    He lowered his voice so that Doris couldn't hear. (LONGMAN, 4th edition)

    These are some Viking sailing directions from Norway to Greenland:
    1. Sail west but keep to the north of the Shetland islands so you can hardly see them in good weather.
    ...
    3. Keep south of Iceland so that you cannot see land but just coastal birds.
    (From my textbook)

    I'm aware that these modal verbs are used with such verbs as see/hear.

    Could I ask native speakers to help me please? Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by joham; 30-Sep-2008 at 03:05. Reason: Some words replaced.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    #2

    Re: so that/ in order that we couldn't

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    L. G. Alexander's Longman English Grammar says in a negative clause of purpose we can't use 'can't/couldn't':

    I arrived early so that/ in order that I might not/ should not/ would not miss anything. (Not: could not)

    My question is, are the 'so/ so that' clauses below with 'couldn't/ can hardly/ cannot' clauses of purpose or result/consequence? If they are clauses of purpose, can we use 'won't/wouldn't ' to replace them?


    He lowered his voice so that Doris couldn't hear. (LONGMAN, 4th edition)

    These are some Viking sailing directions from Norway to Greenland:
    1. Sail west but keep to the north of the Shetland islands so you can hardly see them in good weather.
    ...
    3. Keep south of Iceland so that you cannot see land but just coastal birds.
    (From my textbook)

    I'm aware that these modal verbs are used with such verbs as see/hear.

    Could I ask native speakers to help me please? Thank you in advance.
    Could I trouble you native speakers to help me please? Thank you again.

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