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    #1

    there happen to be

    Hi
    We use 'there V' construction to say something for the first time by end-focus
    principle.
    SO we can say 'there lived a king.''there resulted a market
    failure.' and these actually have S + V construction.(S : a king, V :
    lived)
    Seeing 'there happen to be A, there seem to be A' a question arises as
    to what on earth 'to be' is, which function they are performing in this
    structure. In otherwords I want to understand
    1. what 'to be' is and which
    grammatical functions they are doing in this construction,
    2. what structure
    the sentence has in 'there happen to be A' (I guess S + V + C ?)

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: there happen to be

    Some verbs in English can be followed by a full infinitive. "Happen" happens to be one of them!
    Have a look here also:
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/gram...grammar/happen

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: there happen to be

    Good question!

    In this case, happen does not mean occur. It's an idiom that implies chance or fortune.

    For example, you're talking about a time you were hungry:

    - I was hungry. There happened to be an apple tree nearby, so I climbed it to get some apples.


    You're saying that, just by chance, the tree was there.

    - The job required someone who spoke Latin. I happened to be the only applicant who had studied it, so I got the job.


    You're saying that it was your good fortune to have studied Latin.

    It can also be about bad luck:

    - The lion will eat the slowest runner, and I happen to be wearing SCUBA gear.

    Just by chance, you have diving equipment on when the lion appears. You are lunch.

    In the same sense, it can also refer to a random event:

    - When I turned the corner, I happened upon a bookstore I'd heard about.

    It was by chance that you found the bookstore. You had not been looking for it.

    Does that help?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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