When to use affinché, in modo che, or così che?
Affinché, in modo che, and così che are not very common in oral Italian. However, they are in written language.
This is because they require congiuntivo (the subjunctive), which is a complex verb tense, and oral language doesn’t get along very well with complex rules.
We also use these words when we’re referring to someone different from the person we mentioned in the main sentence, like in the example below:
Pulisco io affinché tu possa riposarti.
I can clean so that you can rest.
In the sentence you just read, the person who is going to clean is not the same as the one who is going to rest.
What is the structure of affinché, in modo che, così che?
We usually use the subjunctive to talk about hopes, hypotheses, desires, fears, possibilities, and doubts.
We find it mostly after the main clause and it’s usually preceded by the conjunction che.
As you can see, affinché, in modo che, and così che include the word che, so it’s easy to remember that they have to be followed by the subjunctive.
As you can probably tell, we use the present subjunctive to talk about events that happen in the present, but also in the future:
Abbasso il volume affinché voi possiate studiare.
I’ll turn down the volume in order for you to be able to study.
And we use the imperfect subjunctive to talk about something that happened in the past:
Mi ha trattato molto bene così che io mi sentissi a mio agio.
She treated me very well so that I felt comfortable.
How to form the present and imperfect subjunctive?
We’re going to give you a quick explanation of how to form the present and imperfect subjunctive of regular verbs.
To form the present of the subjunctive in Italian, you have to keep the root of the verb in the present of the indicative (parl-, ved-, part-) and add the correct endings, which are in bold in the table below:
In order to form the imperfect subjunctive in Italian, you have to remove –are, –ere, and –ire from the infinitive (the base form of the verb) and add the correct endings, which are in bold in the table below:
In modo da or in modo che?
To understand better when we use in modo da and when we use in modo che, have a look at the two sentences below and see how they differ:
Parlerò con Anna in modo da capire.
I’ll speak to Anna in order to understand.
Parlerò con Anna in modo che capisca.
I’ll speak to Anna in order for her to understand.
In the first sentence, the person who will speak to Anna and the person who wants to understand is the same.
In the second sentence, the person who will speak to Anna and the person who has to understand (= Anna) are different.
In the first sentence, we used the set phrase in modo da + infinitive (in order to), whereas in the second one, we used in modo che + subjunctive (in order for X to).
Again, when we use in modo che we have to continue the sentence with a verb in the subjunctive tense.
It’s the same with affinché and così che: they must be followed by the subjunctive.
We could simply say per + infinitive if it weren’t because the person we’re referring to is different from the other person we mention.
Affinché, in modo che, così che + subjunctive: examples
Let’s now have a look at some examples with affinché, in modo che, and così che:
Accompagnalo affinché non faccia tardi.
Go with him so that he’s not late.
Vieni con me in modo che io non sia da sola.
Come with me so that I’m not alone.
Pubblicheremo questo documento affinché tutti sappiano la verità.
We’ll publish this document so that everyone will know the truth.
Hanno pulito la casa così che i genitori non si arrabbiassero.
They cleaned the house in order for their parents not to get angry.
Abbiamo studiato tutta la settimana in modo che il professore fosse orgoglioso di noi.
We studied the whole week so that our teacher was proud of us.
L’ho chiamato affinché potessimo chiarire.
I called him in order for us to make up.
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