7

d) I was so tired that I couldn't sleep

e) I was tired so that I couldn't sleep

Of these two examples d) is perfect and e) simply doesn't work.

d) is the correct form of e) or an alternative would be I was too tired to sleep.

One of my friends has explained this to me. Nevertheless, I couldn't get why E is incorrect.

there -- at the link-- has been written tow kinds of "so that", hasn't been written? if so, we could use them interchageably by the meaning both result and purpose.

I have underlined what I mean:

enter link description here

  • 1
    Try walking us through why you think it is proper. What's the intent of the sentence? How does the sentence convey that intent? – Tory Sep 19 '14 at 17:50
  • Considering the link provided, I am looking forward for another answer – nima Sep 20 '14 at 5:49
  • the link says that so that could mean both result and purpose. So, now is E correct? – nima Sep 20 '14 at 5:50
  • there has been written tow kinds of "so that", hasn't been written? if so, we could use them interchageably by the meaning both result and purpose. – nima Sep 20 '14 at 8:39
  • why?what?I cannot get it – nima Sep 20 '14 at 11:41
26

The phrase "so that" means "for the purpose of". It shows intent or purpose.

Correct: I went to the market so that I could buy food.

  • (I went to the market for the purpose of buying food.)

Correct: She put on a coat so that she would not be cold.

  • (She put on a coat for the purpose of not being cold.)

The sentence "I was tired so that I couldn't sleep" doesn't make sense.

Incorrect: I was tired so that I couldn't sleep.

  • (I was tired for the purpose of not being able to sleep.)

This is difficult to read sensibly. It might mean that you made yourself tired with the intention of not being able to sleep.

On the other hand, so... that... is different from so that. It indicates that an extreme condition causes some consequence:

The desert was so hot that many of the soldiers passed out.

  • (The desert was very hot, and the heat caused many soldiers to pass out.)

The rock was so big that we needed 10 people to move it.

I was so tired that I couldn't sleep.

  • As I read it, the phrase in question uses it in the spirit of "Why are you frightened so?", as in "I was tired (in such a way) that I couldn't sleep.". – Epanoui Sep 20 '14 at 2:39
  • 1
    "This is difficult to read sensibly. It might mean that you made yourself tired with the intention of not being able to sleep." It's easier (but not particularly likely to be found in the wild) if someone else did the tiring. E.g., you might tire (out) a child or pet so that it will sleep. "When I was young, my parents would take me to the park. I was tired [by them] so that I could sleep." Of course, this gets much more difficult in when OP is so tired that OP couldn't sleep. – Joshua Taylor Sep 20 '14 at 14:39
4

In d) so is modifying tired (how tired you are). This is an adverb usage, sense 2 in the definition linked below. This usage is correct.

In e) so precedes a phrase explaining the result of being tired (I couldn't sleep). But that is out of place. Check the example in Collins so sense 8. Here it is a conjunction.

I would write sentence e) this way:

e) I was tired so I couldn't sleep.

0

The two sentences work fine, but they have different meanings.
d means I was really tired resulting in not able to sleep.
e means I was a bit tired resulting in not able to sleep.

  • is this answer correct? – nima Sep 20 '14 at 5:48
  • @nima_persian - "is this answer correct?" - No. – Kevin Fegan Sep 21 '14 at 5:48

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