UNIT 62. To …, for …, and so that …(Purpose)

Australia-25 grammar


We use to … to say why somebody does something (= the purpose of an action):
– “Why are you going out?” “To mail a letter.”
– A friend of mine called to invite me to a party.
– We shouted to warn everybody of the danger.

We use to … to say why something exits (= its purpose):
– This fence is to keep people out of the yard.
– The president has a team of bodyguards to protect him


We use to … to say what can be done or must be done with something:
– It’s hard to find a place to park downtown. (= a place where you can part)
– Would you like something to eat?
– Do you have much work to do? (= work that you must do)
– I get lonely if there’s nobody to talk to.
– I need something to open this bottle with.

Also money / time / chance / opportunity / energy / courage, etc., to (do something):
– They gave us some money to buy some food.
– Do you have much opportunity to practice your English?
– I need a few days to think about your proposal.


For … and to …

For + noun:
– I’m going to Spain for a vacation.
– What would you like for dinner?
– Let’s go to the pool for a swim.

to + verb:
– I’m going to Spain to learn Spanish. (not for lean, not for leaning)
– What would you like to eat?
– Let’s go to the pool to have a swim.


You can say “for (somebody) to (do something)”:
– These weren’t any chairs for us to sit on, so we ha to sit on the floor.

You can use for -ing or to … to talk about the general purpose of something, or what it is generally used for:
– Do you use this brush for washing the dishes? (or … to wash the dishes?)

You can use What … for? to ask about purpose:
– What is this switch for?
– What did you do that for?


So that

Sometimes you have to use so that for purpose.

We use so that (not to …) especially

When the purpose is negative (so that … won’t/wouldn’t):

when the purpose is negative (so that … won’t/wouldn’t):
– I hurried so that I wouldn’t be late. (= because I didn’t want to be late)
– Leave early so that you won’t (or don’t) miss the bus.

with can and could (so that … can/could):
– She’s leaning English so that she can study in Canada.
– We moved to the city so that we could see our children more often.