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I wanted to use the "so that ... would" phrase and used it like:

I want so that a car would drive

But I was told it was wrong. The sense i am putting in all of this is like here:

I wish you wre here

I want you to be here

Can we say the same about the car?

I wish the car drove

I want the car to drive

But the original variant I got from this example:

We left a message with his neighbour so that he would know we’d called

Here the "so that ... would"construction works but in my example it doesn't.

I want so that a car drives

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  • What do you want to say? Your sentences do not really make sense. The say "I want" but there is nothing to want. "So that a car drives / would drive" is also a meaningless fragment.
    – virolino
    Apr 25 '19 at 9:35
  • I want to use it the same as it's here:"We left a message with her secretary so that she would know we have come." Apr 25 '19 at 9:47
  • Please edit the question and add the information in the comment.
    – virolino
    Apr 25 '19 at 9:51
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I think you are interested constructs built on the following pattern:

(Subject) (action) (details) so that (purpose).

In your model sentence:

(We) (left) (a message with her secretary) so that (she would know we have come).


  • I want (what?) so that a car would drive
  • I want (what?) so that a car drives

These sentences break the pattern badly:

  • "want" needs (details): what do you want?
  • "a car would drive" / "a car drives": does not make much sense, at least not as a purpose.

One way to repair your sentences is:

(I) (want) (the technologies to advance faster) so that (cars could be driven autonomously).


In some cases, the details after the verb are not needed:

I work so that I can have money.


  • I wish a car drove
  • I want a car to drive

They both sound incomplete, some details are missing. Drive how? Where?

  • I want you to come

It is OK.


or it's still horrible?

These were exactly my thoughts, but I was hesitant to express them :)

Don't worry, nobody was ever born knowing English perfectly.

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  • Can we then change it for "I wish a car drove" without any other details? Or for "I want a car to drive" like in "I want you to come". Well, I am glad that it's the internet, Having said something terrible like that I would burn with shame I am a perfectionist and all mistakes increase my "English Depression":) Apr 25 '19 at 10:12
  • There is no need for: shame, perfectionism, depression ;)
    – virolino
    Apr 25 '19 at 10:14
  • As I commented earlier, you can get better information if you add details to the original question ;) Including the new sentences.
    – virolino
    Apr 25 '19 at 10:15

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