Wednesday, August 5, 2009

happen to + verb

You've seen this phrase here before. (See the July 27 blog.) I forgot to take it off my list and didn't realize that I'd written about it already until I started entering it in the blog site. So here it is again in another version of the same explanation and another chance for you to practice.

The phrase happen to conveys coincidence or some kind of information that is unexpectedly true. We usually use happen to when the person we are speaking to does not know a piece of information that is useful to him or her.

So if you're talking to someone who needs a carpenter and who doesn't know that you are a carpenter, you can tell him that you happen to be a carpenter and that perhaps you can help with the project that he's doing. In another situation, you go to someone's house after a huge party, and this person has a lot of leftovers that wouldn't fit in the fridge. You can help her get rid of her leftovers without wasting them by saying, "Well, I happen to love leftovers. I can take some of them home with me."

like this:

A: So how are you getting along with your new neighbors?
B: It's going well. Their kids happen to be the same age as ours so they're starting to hang out now.
A: That sounds good. Does the wife work outside the home, too?
B: Yes, she does, and she happens to take the same train as I do, so we sometimes walk to the station together.
A: That's awesome. It's nice to have neighbors you get along with.
B: Totally.

convey - communicate; say; mean
leftovers - extra food
get rid of - dispose; throw away
hang out - spend time and have fun together

That's it, folks. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Have fun!

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