Expressing Purpose in English (EFL/ESL English speaking lessons)

EFL/ESL English speaking lessons

Expressing purpose in English

What is the purpose?

Expressing purpose – A purpose (might mean objective, intention, or goal) is anything a person intends to do or achieve in the future. There are many ways people can express purpose in English. In this lesson, you will be introduced to some of the most common expressions. Below, there three different ways to express purpose. Each category shows you a way of expressing purpose.

Expressing purpose – Category one

  • For

In English, /for/ is always followed by a noun or a verb + ing

  1. Examples:
  • I work hard for success
  • I travel a lot for amusing myself.

Expressing purpose – Category two

  • To
  • So as to
  • In order to

In English, /to, so as to, and in order to/ are always followed by a verb (infinitive)

  1. Examples:
  • She prepared well to get a good grade.
  • Bob studies hard so as to get a good job.
  • I practice sports every day in order to have a fit body.

Expressing purpose – Category three

  • So that
  •  In order that 

In English, /so that and in order that/ are always followed by a subject + modal + verb (infinitive)

  1. Examples:
  • I read many short stories so that I can learn many vocabularies.
  • She spends a lot of money on herself in order that she can look beautiful.


You can use /in order not to and so as not to/ to express purpose in the negative form.

  1. Examples:
  • They study hard so as not to
  • She practices sports so as not to be fat.
  • I write every day in order not to be a bad writer.

More Examples of expressing purpose in English:

  • She saves a lot of money so as to buy what she needs.
  • They help my classmates understand lessons in order to learn
  • I run 2 miles to reduce cholesterol in my blood.
  • They educate their children so that they could get a good job.
  • She studies languages for communication.
  • Do these assignments in order that you learn the rules very fast.



Check your understanding


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