Purpose and Result Clauses


There is only one way to show purpose: a full subordinate clause introduced by "ut" or "ne" (the negative) plus a finite verb in the subjunctive mood. It never uses the infinitive to show purpose, the way English does.

Id facit ut eos adiuvet.
(He is doing it to help them [or in order to help them, or so that he may help them.)

Veniunt ne civitates deleantur.
(They are coming so that the cities will not be destroyed.)

Haec dicit ut discipuli omnia intellegant.
(He is saying these things so that the students will understand everything.)

Multos libros legit ne stulta videatur.
(She reads many books so that she won't seem foolish.)

English has basically two ways to show purpose:

(1) Infinitive, sometimes supplemented with "
in order"

"She is coming to help (or in order to help)."

"They are sending him to tell you what to do."

"The dog has a long nose to smell better."

"In order to serve you better, our store has installed anti- theft devices."

(2) A subordinate clause introduced by "
so that" or "so" or "in order that" often with the conditional mood of the verb

"She is coming so that she may help."

"They are sending him so that he may tell you what to do."

"The dog has a long nose so that it may smell better."

"In order that we may serve you better, our store has installed anti-theft devices."


Result clauses are frequently anticipated by adverbs or special adjectives in the main clause -- "ita, sic, tam, tantus, -a, -um". The clause itself is introduced by "ut
" when the result clause is positive, and by "ut with a negative" in the clause when the result is negated. The verb is put into the subjunctive mood.

Id sic fecerunt ut omnes metu liberarentur.
(They did it in such a way that everyone was freed from fear.)

Scripserunt ita male ut nemo litteras legere posset.
(They wrote so badly, that no one was able to read the letter.)

Tantum ferrum tenebat ut territi hostes fugerent.
(He was holding such a great sword that the terrified enemy ran away.)

In English a Result Clause often comes with adverbs like "so" or "such" in the main clause, and the result clause itself is introduced by the subordinating conjunction "that".

"The eclipse made the sky
so dark that it seemed like night."

"They wrote so badly that no one could read the letter."

"She was such a good athlete that she easily jumped over the fence."