Am I right to think that the next sentence has a duality in meaning?

I got here early so that we could have a few minutes along together. (M. Swan, Practical English Usage, §583.7)

Could we tell without context whether this that-clause is the purpose or the consequence of the main clause, 'I got here early'? By any chance, could the 'got' imply something? Or is there any word usually added to mean either purpose or consequence, and so the sentence is no ambiguous to native speakers?

Thank you. :)

  • See so that which is a conjunction. – user3169 Oct 29 '17 at 2:15
  • Yeah see the idiomatic conjunction "so that". Also, I think you mean "alone together"--not "along together". The conjunction "so that" is interesting because it usually takes a modal verb or the present subjunctive since it usually means "in order that", which often opens up a subjunctive clause. – Nick Oct 29 '17 at 3:11

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