so that



From Middle English so that, so þat, sa þat, swo þat, swa þat, from Old English swā þæt, equivalent to so +‎ that. Cognate with Saterland Frisian sodät, West Frisian sadat, Dutch zodat, German sodaß, sodass.


so that

  1. Indicates purpose; in order that, with the result that.
    He must die so that others might live.
    • 1900, L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
      He seized his axe, which he had made very sharp, and as the leader of the wolves came on the Tin Woodman swung his arm and chopped the wolf's head from its body, so that it immediately died.
  2. Indicates purpose; in such a way that, with the intent that.
    He tied a complex knot so that others would find it hard to undo.

Usage notesEdit

  • “So that” is used as a subordinate clause to show purpose or to give an explanation. It is used to show an action producing an intended result or a cause producing an effect. In the format Sentence 1 “so that” Sentence 2, the first sentence is the action/cause and the second is the intended result/effect. In the format “So that” Sentence 1, Sentence 2, the first subject-verb clause is the intended result/effect and the second is the action/cause.


Related termsEdit



  • so that at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • so that in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.