As far as I know, "that" cannot be used after comma, whether it functions as a relative pronoun or a conjunction. However, I've read this sentence from Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale.

So the bed of the sick girl was drawn nearer to the window, that she might see the budding plant.

Considering the context, this line has nothing to do with "so-that" clause. Rather, this is relates to "so that(=in order that)" clause. Then my question is, how come that is used after comma?

  • Considering this text, that doesn't seem right. – Lawrence Mar 30 '17 at 5:53
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    This 'that' is an archaic variant of 'so that' (the introductory 'so' is a different issue). Whether or not the comma is acceptable is secondary to whether or not this usage is still acceptable. In context, it adds a nice period feel. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 30 '17 at 7:20
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    @EdwinAshworth Archaic is quite a strong term - in my view overused on the site. The first synonym which comes up when you google it is obsolete. I would just have said that the elision of so in so that is simply a bit old-fashioned. – WS2 Mar 30 '17 at 8:14
  • @WS2 The first three relevant hits in a Google search for "that she might" -"so that she might" are a Bible verse, a Bible commentary, and, from 'Specimens of Bushmen Folklore', 'She first gently threw up wood ashes into the sky, that she might presently throw up huin roots'. I suggest you use a dictionary: M-W has: '1 : having the characteristics of the language of the past and surviving chiefly in specialized uses'. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 30 '17 at 9:19
  • Anderson's '…, that' seems fine, and reminiscent of almost any modern rendition of legend and that's just one example. Who says 'that' can't follow a comma, please? – Robbie Goodwin Apr 9 '17 at 16:56

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