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I am wondering should I always use a comma before using 'such that' or not?

sentence 1 , such that sentence 2.

More clearly, I just wrote the following sentences in order to lighten the point, whereas I normally want to know the general idea of it.

Please leave the kitchen door open [,] such that they can come in from the garden.

It certainly is possible to adapt these new concepts [,] such that they can also handle more complex tasks.

Additionally, I leave out the comma in such sentences.

  • 4
    You can easily arrange things such that it's impossible to imagine anyone wanting to include a comma. The comma reflects a pause in speech, so if you consider how you would speak the words, that should tell you whether you want a comma there or not. – FumbleFingers Jun 2 '14 at 16:09
  • You're too vague with sentence 1 and sentence 2. Give us something we can analyze! Also, more often than not, I think I'd be inclined to omit the comma rather than include it: I will cut up the meat such that it cooks quicker. However, I'd hate to say that one should "always" do it one way or the other. – J.R. Jun 2 '14 at 19:15
  • why I put these two forms rather than two specific sentences is because I just roughly wanted to know the general opinion about including comma after 'such that'. That's it! – Hakan Jun 2 '14 at 19:59
  • Add a couple examples, and I'll reopen the question. (It's okay to mention that you're interested in the general case, and not just the examples you provide.) – J.R. Jun 3 '14 at 18:58
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    I note that my own dialect prefers the phrase "so that" to "such that" in this context. I don't know if that's grammatically distinct or correct, however. – Greg D Jun 3 '14 at 20:14
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+50

This problem has to do with the use of commas, and not so much with the phrase "such that". "Such that" is considered equal to "so that" in meaning, but "so that" is more common and preferred. "Such that" is really formal.

Commas are usually used to separate independent parts of a sentence. Because of the dependence that "such that" and "so that" have on the phrase before it, the comma is not used there.

Now, some people like to put commas where they pause in speaking in order to separate ideas. And this is only correct if it is truly separating two ideas, and not just to add a pause.

Adding a pause in speech to separate ideas would be the only correct reason to put a comma before "such that".

Putting a comma before "such that" and "so that" isn't wrong, but it is unnecessary.

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Let's go with your rule here

sentence 1 , such that sentence 2.


Please leave the kitchen door open , such that they can come in from the garden.

Broken down..

Sentence 1

Please leave the kitchen door open.

This is a complete, grammatically correct sentence

"Sentence" 2

Such that they can come in from the garden

This sentence is incomplete because it is meant to describe the first sentence.

This is what you call a Subordinate clause


To answer your question

[...]should I always use a comma before using 'such that' or not?

YES, use a comma.

  • The examples in the comments on this post alone should make clear that the answer is a resounding it depends. – Pockets Jun 6 '14 at 1:32
  • Can you give me an example of when you wouldn't use a comma before such that then? – dockeryZ Jun 6 '14 at 1:42
  • on the original post* – Pockets Jun 6 '14 at 4:14

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