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13:26 Nov 23, 2013
English to English translations [Non-PRO] General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / general language question
English term or phrase:so that
Are both these sentences correct? Is the meaning different? "I hoped that you would ship goods so that we would save money". "I hoped that you would ship goods so that we would have saved money".
I agree. A rephrasing of "so that we would have saved money" that's closer to the Asker's formulation might be "so we could have saved money". For me, using "would" twice just doesn't work (as well as the tenses not working). Another option for the second half of the sentence (on condition that it fits the context, of course): to save us money.
Sorry, Vania, but that is too sketchy to satisfactorily resolve the question here. I'm going to take a guess below at what I THINK you are trying to say, but it may not be right because of the lack of detail.
"I am writing to you today to tell you how disappointed we are in the service we have received from your company. We had hoped that you would deliver the goods immediately, in order for us to be able to save money. But you have not done so, and as a result, we have lost money and incurred extra expense."
Is that a correct summing-up of the situation? You will note that there has to be a logical sequence to the tenses I have underlined: I am writing now in the present, you have not delivered in the immediate past, and we had hoped earlier in the past...
In fact the real problem lies with your trying to use 'we would save money', which while not wrong, is a little awkward. Note one might say "If you had delivered on time, we would have saved money"
As Tom says, both your suggestions (and Grazia's too) COULD be right, in specific circumstances — though there is a hint of non-native quality about them.
The key point, as Tom highlights, is the sequence of tenses used, and how those fit with the surrounding context.
To me, the worst thing about your suggestions is the ugly double use of 'that'; I personally would have re-cast the sentence to eliminate one of them; changing 'so that' to another expression not using 'that' would have been one possible solution, and/or simply omitting the first 'that' after 'hoped', as is often possible in modern EN.
Also, 'ship goods' sounds a little unnatural (though possible, implying some/any goods) — normal EN would probably expect to see a definite article in there, as if we are talking about some specific goods know to both parties.
So the only way of knowing if one is 'righter' than the other is to know what the wider context is in which you wish to use them.