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.
- Indicates purpose; in order that, with the result that.
- He must die so that others might live.
- 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.
- 1920, Mary Roberts Rinehart; Avery Hopwood, chapter I, in The Bat: A Novel from the Play (Dell Book; 241), New York, N.Y.: Dell Publishing Company, OCLC 20230794, page 01:
- The Bat—they called him the Bat. […]. He'd never been in stir, the bulls had never mugged him, he didn't run with a mob, he played a lone hand, and fenced his stuff so that even the fence couldn't swear he knew his face.
- “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.
in order to
- so that at OneLook Dictionary Search
- so that in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911