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I have seen the following in a site. However, would you please tell me if I have correctly revised the bold part? I mean if you feel any subtle difference in meaning between them? What about the original one? is it correct?

Original: A leading Swiss scientist declared that Roentgen rays can be so applied that white horses become black.

A. can be applied so that

B. can be such applied that

C. can be applied such that

Thanks

.... First thanks. Now, is this version natural? can be so skilfully applied that

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    Revisions A and C work, but B sounds awkward.
    – Jacob
    Jul 9, 2015 at 16:38
  • Thanks Jcob. However, what about the original one??
    – nima
    Jul 9, 2015 at 16:57
  • The original sounds awkward as well. The way it is worded is either incorrect or unclear. It most likely is trying to say "can be applied so that", but possibly means "so many rays are applied that".
    – Jacob
    Jul 9, 2015 at 17:55

2 Answers 2

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I'll comment on these individually:

Original: can be so applied that

I think that this is technically correct, but you would never see a native speaker use this wording. It just doesn't sound right. We're used to hearing "so" and "that" together.

A. can be applied so that

This is the best option. This sounds natural.

B. can be such applied that

Again, this sounds awkward because we are used to hearing "such" and "that" together.

C. can be applied such that

This isn't awkward, and is gramatically correct on its own, but isn't right in this context. "Such that" is generally used in math to define variables, or anywhere really to set conditions:

Let 3x + 2 = 4y - 7, such that y = 4.

Since the horses changing color is a result, and not a condition, this option doesn't really fit.

If you have to choose one of these, choose option A.

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  • First thanks. Now, is this version natural? can be so skilfully applied that
    – nima
    Jul 9, 2015 at 20:42
  • @nima no, the "so" and "that" are seperate again, and the "skilfully" sounds unnatural.
    – Alex K
    Jul 10, 2015 at 8:05
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can be so applied

The word 'so' is an adverb here and it qualifies 'applied'.

Version A is possible but unfortunately it is ambiguous,

My solution

D. Roentgen rays can be applied in such a way that white horses become black.

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