“To” / “For” / “So that”

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Welcome to your “To” / “For” / “So that” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• When do we use this form?
Using Nouns
“For” and “To”
“So that”
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When do we use this form?

We use “to …” to say why somebody does something:

Why are you using the phone?

To order a pizza.

“I shouted to warn people about the fire.

We also use “to …” to say why something exists:

The fence is to keep people out of the garden.

I have a gardener to look after my garden.


Using Nouns

We use “to ..”. to say what can be done, or what must be done.

It’s difficult to find a place to park in the city.

(a place where you can park)

Have you got much work to do?

(work that must be done)

I need something to open this can with.

We also use this form with lots of nouns:

chance courage energy money opportunity time

They gave us some money to buy a coffee.

I don’t have enough energy to go shopping.

She doesn’t have the time to finish the painting.


“For” and “To”

Compare the two forms:

to + verb for + noun

“I’m going on holiday to relax.”

“What would you like to eat?”

“Let’s go into town to do some shopping.”

“I’m going on holiday for the holidays.”

“What would you like for lunch?”

“Let’s go into town for a couple of hours.”

You can use the form “for somebody to do something”:

There were lots cocktails for us to try.

You can use “for +ing” or “to …” to talk about the general purpose of something, or what it’s generally used for:

You can use this cloth to clean the car.

You can use this cloth for cleaning the car.

You can use “what … for?” to ask about purpose:

What is this button for?

What did you say that for?


“So that”

Sometimes you have to use “so that” for a purpose. We use “so that” (not to …) especially when the purpose is negative (sometimes using won’t / wouldn’t):

Leave early so that you won’t miss the train.

She hurried so that she wouldn’t be late.

You can also use this form with “Can” and “Could”:

I’m learning Japanese so that I can move there in December.

She took a job in town so that she could be closer to her family.