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I have a question. correct me If I am wrong: I think when I say

I gave my dad a mobile phone last year. That was so that I could contact him whenver I wanted to.

it's another way of saying

I gave my dad a mobile phone last year so that I could contact him whenever I wanted to.

But when I say

I gave my dad a mobile phone last year. This is so that I can contact him whenever I want to.

it's another way of saying

I gave my dad a mobile phone last year so that I can contact him whenever I want to.

Am I right?

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    Many learners seem to think that such a minor change in the wording somehow drastically alters the meaning of the sentence. It doesn't. These all pretty much convey the same sentiment. – J.R. Oct 25 '17 at 18:36
  • @J.R. Thank you. But I think If I say "that was so that I can contact him whenever I want to", I will be wrong. Am I right? – user254288 Oct 25 '17 at 18:47
  • "That was so that ..." and "This was so that ..." sound a little wrong to me. But I'm a learner too. Can someone shed light on this? Thanks! – dan Oct 26 '17 at 0:29
  • @user254288 - You're wrong – the tenses don't need to match. "That was...*" is okay because getting him the phone happened in the past; "...whenever I want" is okay because the contact is happening in the present and future. – J.R. Oct 26 '17 at 2:32
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The last sentence reads best, its grammar is easy.

I gave my dad a mobile phone last year so that I can contact him whenever I want to.

I propose this alternative

I gave my dad a mobile phone because I want to stay in contact.

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  • I like "stay in touch" even better than "stay in contact". – J.R. Oct 26 '17 at 2:30

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