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b2 B2. Intermedio avanzado - Usos y diferencias entre palabras
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In order to - So that

In order to and so that are conjunctions that we use to talk about the purpose of something.

These conjunctions are often used with modal verbs. A synonym of these conjunctions could be so as to

For example:

I eat healthy food and work out to have good health. 

We could use one of the conjunctions to express the idea in a better way.

  • I have healthy habits in order to have good health.
  • I have healthy habits so that I will be in good shape.

The differences between these two conjunctions are simple. Let's see.

In order to

This is used in very formal expressions or contexts. Keep in mind that in the sentence, it is followed by an infinitive verb.

  • The government developed new insights in order to know more about the citizens.
  • In order to be more productive, they employed more people.

So that

This is commonly used in informal contexts:

  • I used the simultaneous translation so that everyone could understand me.
  • You can research hotels so that you can make an informed decision.

To add more informality to the expression according to the context, the word that can be removed.

For example:

"We should travel first so we can make all the arrangements for the meeting."

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