#EngClass: Expressing purpose

Heyya, fellas! How did you day go? It’s only the third day of the week but I’ve heard more than enough sad news. So, wherever you are and whatever you do, fellas. Please… stay safe and healthy. And to you who’re having hard times, stay strong.

Enough of the sullen mood. Let’s start today’s session, shall we? Last week, we received a question from @Chifara_. She asked about the differences between ‘so that’, ‘in order to’, and ‘to’. Instead of keeping it to ourselves, why not share it with you too?

There are various ways of expressing purpose in English. We can use: ‘to’,so as to‘, ‘so that‘, or ‘in order (to/that)‘.

These conjunctions are used when we want to show the purpose of an action, to say WHY we did it.


‘So that’, ‘in order’, ‘so as’, and ‘to’ are used to answer the question of: WHY?

They are known as ‘subordinating conjunctions’. They connect a main (independent) clause and a subordinate (dependent) clause. ‘Subordinating conjunction’ acts as a bridge to connect one clause to another dependent clause.

In today’s session, we’ll talk a little bit more about how to use these subordinating conjunctions.


A. We use ‘to’ + ‘infinitive’ to show the purpose of an action. 


‘to’ + ‘infinitive’ is generally used only in affirmative statements.


slide5 slide6



B. We use ‘so as to’ & ‘in order to’ to express purpose.

‘So as to’ and ‘in order to’ is often used interchangeably. In sentence, they are followed by the infinitive verbs.


Example of ‘so as to’:


Example of ‘in order to’:



To form a negative statement, NOT is added right before the word TO. Again, it is then followed by the infinitive verb.


The negative statement expresses that one action will help avoid having to do something else or prevent another thing happening.

Example of ‘so as not to’:


Example of ‘in order not to’:




C. We use ‘so that’ & ‘in order that’ to say that one action makes another action possible.

‘So that’ and ‘in order that’ is generally followed by a modal.


Example of ‘so that’:


Example of ‘in order that’:



To form a negative statement, NOT is added right after modal. Again, it is then followed by the infinitive verb.


Example of ‘so that’ + modal + ‘not:


Example of ‘in order that’ + MODAL + ‘not’ :


We’ve now come to the end of today’s session. I hope the explanation was clear enough. If you have any question regarding today’s session, feel free to mention us and ask away.

That’s a wrap, fellas! Thanks for tuning in to today’s session. See you again tomorrow. XOXO

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, October 12, 2016.




4 thoughts on “#EngClass: Expressing purpose”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s