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Stating Objectives or Purpose

Stating Objectives or Purpose – We are learning how to state objectives / purpose in daily conversations that use simple structures in various aspects of daily life. The objective of the lesson is: students are able to state objectives / purpose in various settings.

Learn about it!

Two men are talking about the latest news on TV.
Peter : What happened to those two men?
James : They have just fought.
Peter : Why did they fight?
James : They fought for the crown.
Peter : Hmm…. What do you mean?

Did they fight on behalf of the crown or did they fight in order to take the crown?

English has various ways of expressing objectives / purpose. However, expressing objectives / purpose can be a problem if we are not careful. In the dialogue above, James says: “They fought for the crown” is ambiguous. The word for that is used to state purpose is not the best word. The best word to state purpose in that sentence is (in order) to. So, James should say: “They fought in order to get the crown”

In this lesson we are learning how to state objectives / purpose.

Do you understand?

There are some expressions to state objectives / purpose:

1. To + V-infinitive

Andrea : Why does Emely go out? It’s late. It’s dangerous out there.
Audrey : She goes out to buy medicine.
(The purpose is: to buy medicine)

2. In order to (so as to) + V-infinitive

Ms. Rosa : You are both so serious.
Dewi : Yes, Miss Rosa. We have to focus in order to finish our project.
(The purpose is: in order to finish the project)

3. So that + Subject + can/will/could/would

Example 1:
Biel: Let me check the engine.
Andra: Something wrong with it?
Biel: Yes, but everything is ok now. Here is my phone number so that you can contact me.
Andra: Thank you.
(The purpose is: Biel can contact Andra.)

Example 2:
Sophia: Why did you leave so early yesterday?
Milka: I left early so that I could park my car close to the concert hall.
(The purpose is: Milka could park her car close to the concert hall.)

4. For + V-ing (used to express general purpose or function of a thing / a tool)

Shop assistant: Can I help you?
Buyer: I am looking for…. Emm… sorry I forget the name. It’s a tool for making a hole.
Shop assistant: Do you mean a drill? Like this one?
Buyer : Yes, That’s it. How much is it?
(The purpose of using a drill is: to make a hole)

5. In order not to (so as not to) + V-infinitive

Bryan : Shh.., Speak slowly, please.
Mita : Sorry. I forget that we are in the library.
Bryan : Yes. In the library we have to be quite so as not to disturb others.
(The purpose is: They don’t disturb others.)

6. So that + Subject + don’t / doesn’t (won’t / wouldn’t)

Example 1:
Lupi : Why do you always take an umbrella everywhere? It’s not raining.
Sita : It’s not raining now. But, it’s rainy season.
Lupi : I get your point. You bring an umbrella so that you won’t get wet if it rains.
Sita : Exactly.
(The purpose is: Lupi doesn’t get wet if it rains.)

Example 2:
Eddy : What is that?
Reno : This is my lunch box.
Eddy : Do you bring lunch to school?
Reno : Yes. I bring lunch so that I don’t have to go out to buy lunch at break.
(The purpose is: Reno doesn’t have to go out to buy lunch.)


  • There are many patterns for stating objectives/purposes. The point is, we need to use them properly in order to avoid ambiguity.
  • Try to use those pattern in many occasion of speaking or writing communication, so that you can be more familiar with English
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