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I'm currently practising for the TOEFL so I'd really like you to tell me the correct answer for the following question with a brief explanation.
"I spoke to him kindly ...... him."

a) not to frighten
b) so as not to frighten
c) in order to not frighten
d) for not frightening

Only one is correct, so I'd choose a) but nevertheless I actually think d) is possible as well, even though a) sounds better. Since it's just my feeling that tells me to choose either a) or d) I'd appreciate rules eliminating the other options.
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Actually, B is the correct answer.
Hi,

I'm currently practising for the TOEFL so I'd really like you to tell me the correct answer for the following question with a brief explanation.
"I spoke to him kindly ...... him."

a) not to frighten
This seems OK to me.

b) so as not to frighten For TOEFL, choose this one. It's better style.
c) in order to not frighten I wouldn't say this is wrong. It's just not good style, especially with the split infinitive.
d) for not frightening This is not idiomatic. We don't say it this way because we don't say it this way.

Only one is correct, so I'd choose a) but nevertheless I actually think d) is possible as well, even though a) sounds better. Since it's just my feeling that tells me to choose either a) or d) I'd appreciate rules eliminating the other options.


Sometoimes it's a matter of rules, sometimes it's a matter of style and usage.

Best wishes, Clive
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a) not correct, too truncated
b) so as isn't formal enough (M-W indicates it as "obsolete"), such as may be preferred in exams
c) seems the right one to me, with a comma after kindly.
d) I understand the meaning, but I'd not use it. Just doesn't sound right.

Now then, I've found that b) is the most used at Google, by far, so the two gurus above were rightEmotion: smile
Marius Hancub) so as isn't formal enough (M-W indicates it as "obsolete"), such as may be preferred in exams.
I would suggest that you've misinterpreted which 'so as' usage M-W considers to be obsolete, Marius.
Yankee
Marius Hancub) so as isn't formal enough (M-W indicates it as "obsolete"), such as may be preferred in exams.
I would suggest that you've misinterpreted which 'so as' usage M-W considers to be obsolete, Marius.
Always a possibility, but not based on what I see in the definition below, I think. Anyway, item 1 here is confusing in this respect.

Also, item 2 be should be "provided that," IMO.

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so as

Function: conjunction

1 a obsolete : SO 1a <I hope you shall receive honorable requital of his amicable ambassade so as you shall have no cause to regret his arrival -- Elizabeth I> b : SO 1b <repeated aloud so as there'd be no chance of a mistake -- G.W.Brace>

2 : provide that <could play 'em a tune on any sort of pot you please, so as it was iron or block tin -- Charles Dickens>


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I agree with Nona. B is the correct answer.
To my mind, both a) and b) are grammatically correct, with b) being a little more emphatic. So as normally emphasizes an infinitive. So does in order, but in c) not is in the wrong place. In order not to frighten would be correct. D) is ungrammatical.

Cheers
CB
Marius Hancu
so as

Function: conjunction

1 a obsolete : SO 1a <I hope you shall receive honorable requital of his amicable ambassade so as you shall have no cause to regret his arrival -- Elizabeth I> b : SO 1b <repeated aloud so as there'd be no chance of a mistake -- G.W.Brace>

2 : provide that <could play 'em a tune on any sort of pot you please, so as it was iron or block tin -- Charles Dickens>


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It's far from obsolete, and in fact a very common construction in BrE. It does, however, have a slightly different meaning from the M-W definitions you quoted, more along the lines of "in order to".

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=75318&dict=CALD
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