Four Particles That Mean “So That”


root: ح-ر-ف / noun / plural: حُروف / definition: letter, (grammatical) particle

It’s never too soon for another synonyms post, so this week we’re taking a look at four different particles we can use to express purpose—they can all be translated as “so that” or “in order to“.

All of the particles below are followed by المضارع المنصوب (the present tense subjunctive)*:





* لِـ can also be followed by a مصدر that is مجرور (in genitive case).

Let’s look at them in context:

.أَدرُسُ لِأُصبِحَ ذَكِيّةً

I study so that I become smart.

.ذَهَبنا إلى السينما لِمُشاهَدَةِ الفيلمِ

We went to the cinema in order to watch the film.

.يَمشُونَ لِكَي يَتَجَنَّبوا الاِزدِحامَ

They are walking in order to avoid the traffic.

.هَرَعَت البَناتُ إلى بُيوتِهِنَّ لِكَي لا يُصيبَهُنَّ المَطَرُ

The girls rushed to their homes in order not to get caught in the rain.

(The example above was used in Wehr Wednesdays #37.)

.حَفَروا لِمُدّةِ ثَلاثَةِ أَيّامٍ كَي يَكتَشِفوا الآثار

They dug for three days in order to uncover the relics.

.شَرِبَ القَهوةَ كَي لا يَنامَ

He drank coffee so that he won’t fall asleep.

.سَنُراقِبُ الحالةَ عَنْ كَثَبٍ حَتّى نُقَدِّمَ لَكُم آخِر المُستَجدّات

We will closely monitor the situation so that we can bring you the latest updates.

(This example was used in the post Three Meanings of حتّى.)

If you go back through those translations, you’ll notice that “so that” or “in order to” can often simply be translated as “to“.

For example: I study so that I become smart.I study to become smart.

A good way to refresh your writing is to swap some of your typical word choices for synonyms to add variety—especially for small particles like these ones, where we often don’t think too much about using لِـ every time!

For more Arabic writing tips, check this post out.

And don’t miss reading last week’s post Arabic Observations: the Abstract Noun of a Question? which I was so excited to write after coming across a very interesting Arabic word.

That’s all for now, feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

!إلى اللقاء

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