“so that” vs “in case” in English

“SO THAT” VS ” IN CASE” 



“so that” and “in case”, both of them, are conjunctions which connect two clauses. However, there are some basic differences in terms of their uses. 

You can see their uses and related examples below. ( Differences between “so that” and “in case” )



1. “SO THAT”

“so that “ AS A CONJUNCTION  ( ACTION/PLAN + so that + REASON/PURPOSE )

“so that”as a conjunction, is used to make explanation about the clause or to express purpose of the clause. ( what purpose something is done )

Shortly;

  • “so that” is a conjunction which is used to join two clauses. ( one of them expresses an action, the other expresses the purpose )
  • “so that” is used before the clause which indicates the purpose.
  •  The clause after “so that” generally includes a modal ( like can, could, may, might, will or would ).

Examples:

  • He wants to earn lots of money so that he can buy many things that he wants. ( Action – Purpose )
  •           ( He can buy …  – purpose / He wants to earn… – action/plan 

    • I put my glasses on so that I could see the movie better. ( Action –  Purpose )

    ( I could see …  – purpose / I put … – action/plan )

    • His father gave him some story books so that he could improve his reading. ( Action – Purpose )

    ( He could improve …  – purpose / His father gave … – action/plan )



    ATTENTION:

    • The clause after “so that” generally includes a modal ( like can, could, may, might, will or would ).

    2. “IN CASE” 

    “in case” AS A CONJUNCTION  ( ACTION/PLAN + in case + POSSIBLE REASON )

    “in case” is used to talk about things we should do in order to be prepared for possible future situations.  

    ( what possible reason something is done )

    Shortly , we can say that

    • “in case” introduces “possibility”.
    • “in case” is used before the clause which indicates the possible reason.
    •  We can use “in case” to represent the precautions taken due to the possibility.
    •  We should do an action before something happens or might happen.
    • The clause after “in case” includes simple present or simple past tense or “should”.



    You can see many examples related to using “in case” below;

    Examples:

    •    I will not go to my office by my car in case it snows. ( Action – Possible Reason )

                 ( It snows – possibility  / I will not go… – precaution 

    ( The sentence means that I don’t know whether it will snow or not. But I will not go to my office by my car as a precaution any way. )

    •    My mother will put a cake in my handbag in case I am hungry. ( Action – Possible Reason )

                 ( I was hungry – possibility  / My mother put a cake… – precaution )

    ( The sentence means that we don’t know whether I will be hungry or not. But my mother will put a cake in my handbag as a precaution any way. )

    •    Her father always gives her some money in case she need it. ( Action – Possible Reason )

                 ( She need it – possibility  / Her father always gives her some money – precaution )

    ( The sentence means that they don’t know whether she will need it or not. But Her father gives her some money as a precaution any way. )

    ATTENTION:

    • The clause after “in case” includes simple present or simple past tense or “should”

    For detailed information about using “so that” in English, click here

    For detailed information about using “in case” in English, click here

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