I'm trying to figure out the proper grammar for conveying that something is turning something into something else, without using pronouns. Consider this:

Socrates poisons the tranquil so that they become rabid.

I don't want to use the word they, or any other pronoun for that matter, because I think it sounds a bit pedestrian (this is part of a quasi ye olde english poem).

Would the phrase below be a valid alternative?

Socrates poisons the tranquil as to become rabid.

It sounds okay to me, but I'm pretty sure it's not proper grammar. Any suggestions?

  • With poison, Socrates makes the tranquil rabid.
    – Davo
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 12:57
  • Was referring to Socrates corrupting the youth in ancient Athens by means of making them think and reason, i.e. not using actual poison :) Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 13:03
  • Oh, sorry. More like: Socrates poisons the tranquil so as to become rabid.
    – Davo
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 13:08
  • 1
    Ah! So as to become. I like it. Also, Microsoft Word complains, telling me to use concise language, so I guess we're on the right track since this is a poem :) Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


Socrates poisons the tranquil so as to become rabid.

The OED uses this phrase in many of its definitions, even if it does not list it directly.


(of land or property) able to be adapted or improved so as to become productive or profitable.


Blend or cause to blend gradually into something else so as to become indistinguishable from it.


Rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious.

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