So That vs. Such That

What's the Difference?

"So that" and "such that" are both phrases used to express a cause-and-effect relationship or a result. However, they differ in their usage and meaning. "So that" is used to indicate the purpose or intention behind an action, while "such that" is used to describe a consequence or outcome that is a result of a particular condition or characteristic. In other words, "so that" focuses on the intention or goal, while "such that" emphasizes the outcome or consequence.


AttributeSo ThatSuch That
DefinitionUsed to express purpose or intentionUsed to express a condition or requirement
UsageCommonly used in order to explain the reason or goal behind an actionCommonly used to set a condition or restriction for something to be true or valid
FunctionIndicates the intended outcome or objectiveSpecifies the necessary condition or characteristic
Example"I study hardso that I can get good grades.""Only studentssuch that they have completed the prerequisite course can enroll."
ConjunctionUsed to connect the main action with the intended resultUsed to introduce a condition or requirement

Further Detail


When it comes to expressing purpose or result, two common phrases that often come to mind are "so that" and "such that." While they may seem similar at first glance, there are subtle differences in their usage and meaning. In this article, we will explore the attributes of both phrases, examining their contexts, structures, and implications. By the end, you will have a clear understanding of when to use "so that" and "such that" in your writing.

Usage of "So That"

The phrase "so that" is commonly used to express purpose or intention. It indicates that an action or event is performed with the specific aim of achieving a desired outcome. "So that" is often followed by a clause that explains the intended result. For example:

  • I studied hardso that I could pass the exam.
  • She saved moneyso that she could buy a new car.

As seen in the examples, "so that" introduces the reason or goal behind an action. It emphasizes the cause-and-effect relationship between the action and the desired outcome.

Usage of "Such That"

"Such that" is used to describe a result or consequence that is a direct outcome of a particular condition or characteristic. It is often followed by a noun phrase or an adjective phrase that provides more information about the condition. Consider the following examples:

  • The book was writtensuch that it appeals to readers of all ages.
  • The problem was complexsuch that it required a team of experts to solve it.

In these instances, "such that" highlights the nature or quality of the condition, which leads to the described result. It suggests that the outcome is a direct consequence of the specific condition mentioned.

Structure and Grammar

Both "so that" and "such that" are conjunctions that connect clauses or phrases. However, they differ in terms of their grammatical structures.

"So That" Structure

The structure of "so that" typically involves two clauses. The first clause expresses the action or event, while the second clause explains the purpose or result. The second clause often begins with a modal verb like "can," "could," "will," or "would." For example:

  • He practiced every dayso that hecould improve his skills.
  • We arrived earlyso that wewouldn't miss the beginning of the concert.

Here, the modal verbs "could" and "wouldn't" indicate the potential outcomes resulting from the actions mentioned in the first clauses.

"Such That" Structure

The structure of "such that" involves a condition or characteristic followed by a phrase that describes the result or consequence. The condition can be expressed through a noun phrase or an adjective phrase. For example:

  • The weather was hotsuch that we decided to go swimming.
  • She is a talented artistsuch that her paintings sell for high prices.

In these examples, the noun phrase "the weather was hot" and the adjective phrase "she is a talented artist" establish the conditions that directly lead to the described results.

Implications and Nuances

While both phrases convey purpose or result, they have distinct implications and nuances.

"So That" Implications

"So that" emphasizes the intentionality and conscious effort behind an action. It suggests that the action is performed with a specific goal in mind. The phrase implies a cause-and-effect relationship, highlighting the direct connection between the action and the desired outcome. For example:

  • I bought a new laptopso that I could work more efficiently.
  • She practiced yoga every dayso that she could improve her flexibility.

In these instances, the use of "so that" emphasizes the deliberate action taken to achieve a particular purpose.

"Such That" Implications

"Such that" implies a consequential relationship between a condition and a result. It suggests that the result is a natural or expected outcome of the mentioned condition. The phrase emphasizes the inherent qualities or characteristics that lead to the described result. For example:

  • The movie was captivatingsuch that the audience was on the edge of their seats.
  • He is a charismatic speakersuch that people are drawn to his presentations.

In these examples, the use of "such that" highlights the inherent qualities of the movie and the speaker that naturally elicit the described reactions from the audience.


While "so that" and "such that" both express purpose or result, they differ in their usage, structure, and implications. "So that" emphasizes the intentional action taken to achieve a specific outcome, while "such that" highlights the inherent qualities or conditions that lead to a particular result. Understanding these distinctions will enable you to use these phrases effectively in your writing, conveying your intentions and describing cause-and-effect relationships with precision.

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