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Can we ommit the modal verbs in the following sentence?: "Maggie called the fire department so that the firefighters could/would put out the fire". I tend to use a modal verb after "so that", but I wonder if some constructions without the modals would be right and still would have "purpose meaning" and not "result meaning".e.g: "Maggie phoned the fire department so that the firefighters put out the fire". Another example is "I phoned my mum so that she did not worry"

  1. Would this sentence be correct and still have "purpose meaning"?
  2. Is " I phoned my mum so that she wouldn't worry" the only grammatical choice here?
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    That's rather an odd choice of sentence, because it's obvious why you call the fire service when there's a fire! I think leaving out the modal verb would express the result of the action rather than its purpose. "Maggie quickly called the emergency services, so the firefighters soon put out the fire." "I had phoned my mum, so she wasn't worried." Commented Jan 28 at 13:37

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