“Such that” is a phrase in English that may sound a little weird to some people. But is that because it’s wrong, or is it just awkward? In this post, we will be discussing whether or not “such that” is correct.
Is “Such That” Grammatically Correct?
“Such that” is correct, though it may not be considered proper grammar. It is an abbreviated version of a longer phrase, thus making it acceptable in informal speech. It may be better to spell out that phrase in a formal setting, but “such that” is fine otherwise.
There are many phrases in English that get shortened in order to be more convenient. “Such that” is an abbreviated version of a longer, more grammatically correct phrase, that being “such a kind that” or “in such a way that”. The second definition is more commonly used.
So, on a technicality, “such that” is not incorrect, but it’s not really formal. There is some debate on whether or not informal grammar should be considered “correct”, but most people who speak English accept informal grammar as being perfectly fine.
What Does “Such That” Mean?
“Such that” is a shortened phrase, a quicker and easier way to say “in such a way that”. This longer phrase is a little dated and not often used in modern English, at least not when speaking. That alone makes “such that” pretty rare as well. But it is still used. Consider the following examples:
- The man possessed strength such that he could effortlessly lift the weight.
- The man possessed strength in such a way that he could effortlessly lift the weight.
The meaning of both of these sentences is the same. “Such that” just gets the sentence out in less words. “Such that” or “in such a way that” just describes how something is. In our example, “such that” connects the idea of the man’s strength being enough to effortlessly lift the weight.
This can all be very confusing. That’s why most people don’t use “such that” in regular conversation very often. There are just easier ways to say things, and those ways tend to be more easily understood by others, as well. But don’t worry; we’ll get into the alternatives later.
Is “Such That” Formal?
No, “such that” is not formal. That’s because it is an abbreviated version of a longer phrase. Abbreviating a phrase is considered informal, especially since such abbreviations usually exist to make the language more convenient even at the sake of correctness.
After all, without knowing what the longer phrase that “such that” represents is, “such that” would not make much sense at all. That alone makes it informal, because it clearly goes against grammar rules for the sake of brevity and ease.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. The vast majority of the time, people are speaking informally, so it’s much better to speak in a way that is efficient and easily understood, than to worry about formality. You only have to worry about formality in some niche scenarios.
Most of the time, you will not have to worry about whether or not “such that” is formal. In the few cases that you do, even the people who care will be unlikely to call you out on it, because most people do not recognize “such that” as being informal just because it sounds formal when said aloud.
Other Ways to Say “Such That”
If you aren’t comfortable with using “such that”, don’t worry about it too much. There are plenty of other ways to say the same thing. In fact, most of the other ways are much easier to use, more common, and more easily understood by other people. They’re actually better to use most of the time.
Other ways to say “such that” include synonyms like the following:
- In a manner
- To such a degree
- In such a fashion
- In a way that
- To such an extent
Many of these synonyms still use “such”, but they use it in a clearer fashion. For instance, the following sentences have the same meaning:
- She is so intelligent such that all quizzes are a breeze for her.
- She is intelligent to such a degree that all quizzes are a breeze for her.
However, despite having identical meanings, most people would agree that the second sentence is clearer and less confusing. It’s not about the word “such”, it’s about the phrase “such” is used in. Instead of relying on implication, being specific about things help eliminate confusion for everyone.
“Such that” is not formal, but it’s not incorrect. It’s an abbreviated version of a longer phrase, that being “in such a way that”. Because “such that” uses a lot of context and implication to get its point across, it’s a better idea to use synonyms in its place if you can.
“Such that” is also a fairly dated phrase, and is not often said by people today. A longer, more specific synonym phrase would be more common and accepted.