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To some purpose vs To the purpose

to some purposeeffectively; with good result:

  • The merchants could concert together for the saving of their credit: and they did it to some purpose.

to the purposepertinent to the matter or subject in question:

  • John never wastes time; he speaks plainly and to the purpose.

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase on purpose—intentionally; not by chance:

  • It wasn’t an accident—he broke the window on purpose.