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Is there any differences between "We climbed high so that we might get a better view" and "We climbed high that we might get a better view"? Is the second sentence informal?

Thank you in advance!

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There is no difference I am aware of between the two sentences. The first is the more usual version.

The second sentence sounds rather archaic to me. A google search for "that we might" reveals quite a few quotes from the bible, or Christian hymns. In particular, the hymn He Died That We Might Live Again, which has the same meaning as "He Died, so that we might live again".

I would avoid the second sentence, unless you are trying to write something that sounds either old-fashioned, or like a religious (particularly Judeo-Christian) text. Otherwise, use the first version.

Incidentally, you can remove the word "that" from the first sentence, to get a sentence which is slightly more informal.

  • I agree about the archaism of the latter. I think that "that" makes the former sound more archaic, not more formal. – bigbadmouse Oct 18 '17 at 7:58

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