Are these two terms interchangeable? For example, can "in such a manner as to" in the following sentence I found on a US university's website be replaced with "so as to" ? :

No person may park or operate a motor vehicle on the campus in such a manner as to cause damage to any university property.

  • The main difference is that in such a manner is much more likely in legal documents and older texts, because the use of so in this sense wasn't common 200-300 years ago. In the UK, the Plain English Campaign might well write to the college administrators suggesting they get with the 21st century, but I doubt that's likely in the US. Sep 28, 2017 at 17:15
  • ...imho it would be ludicrously pedantic to argue that so implies in order to (a volitional act) - but of course, IANAL. They are a law unto themselves. Sep 28, 2017 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


No. In contemporary English so as is not equivalent to in such a manner as.

To do X 'in such a manner as' to Y designates any case in which the manner or method of your doing X causes Y to happen, regardless of your intention. You may intend to do X correctly and you may think you're doing X correctly; but if you cause Y to happen you've broken the rule.

To do X 'so as to' Y would designate any case in which you do X with the intention of causing Y to happen. You may be incompetent and in fact not cause Y to happen; but if you were trying to make Y happen you would have broken the rule.

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