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Is my use of "so as to" in this sentence grammatically correct?

Guiding students down the right career path is a designated role for the government so as to ensure the students to get a big picture of how to stay edgy and brush up their skills to get their dream job.

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    That's probably good enough to be answered. Do you have any information for us on why you are wondering about this phrasing? Knowing those kinds of details would be VERY helpful in writing an answer. – Jonathan Garber Oct 8 '14 at 16:24
  • I am really not good at linking words yet I need to hand in an formal English report related to Education :O I am wondering whether putting this linking word here is correct and sound professional – Deniz Çağlayan Oct 8 '14 at 16:28
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    This is off-topic of your actual question, but "a big picture" is a bit awkward. "A broad picture" or "a broad view/knowledge/experience" would work more smoothly. It's not incorrect, it's just that the phrase "the big picture" is so commonly used that "a big picture" sounds a bit clunky to my ear. – Jason Patterson Nov 8 '14 at 21:53
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    Also, you don't want the students to stay "edgy" (nervous, anxious); you want them to stay "on the leading edge" (up to date with current knowlege and technology). – Brian Hitchcock Feb 7 '15 at 6:15
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Without any strict grammarian approach...

"So as to" can almost always be reduced to "to" - it is business-babble at its worst in modern writing.

Mixing the antiquated "so as to" with the modern "edgy" just hurts.

To ease TRomano's pain, dropping a semi-colon in might give a band-aid, if not a cure
" ...is a designated role for the government; to ensure... "

  • +1 for explaining what's really wrong with the sentence. :) – Ben Kovitz Feb 6 '15 at 23:04
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Your use is not grammatical because the sentence begins with a gerund (guiding) which is the subject of the verb "is", so that the clause introduced by "so as to ensure" is not attached to anything.

so as to = because we want to or because the intention is

We guide students so as to ensure that they get a big picture....

(slightly less wordy version): We guide students to ensure that they get a big picture....

This doesn't quite work:

*Guiding ... is a designated role for the government {because we want to} ensure....*
*Guiding ... is a designated role for the government {so as to} ensure....*

But this formulation would work:

We designate for the government the role of guiding students down the right career path because we want to ensure they get....

We designate for the government the role of guiding students down the right career path so as to ensure they get....

  • OP: notice that none of these examples uses "to" with "get"; as you did. It should be "...ensure [that] students get.. ", or "...ensure [that] they get.. ", NOT "...ensure students to get..." (that correct usage is called Bare Infinitive.) – Brian Hitchcock Feb 7 '15 at 6:22

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