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    #1

    happen to be v. is

    1.In German there is a very little difference either, except in one vital case: when the object happens to be a der word.

    Above structure, happens to be, seems strange to me. Is it identical with is?

    Can we say as 2. "In German there is a very little difference either, except in one vital case: when the object a der word."

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    #2

    Re: happen to be v. is

    Happens to be means "is, by chance". I find it inappropriate in the quoted sentence but I'm not surprised to see it; happens to be happens to be a very overused turn of phrase.
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    #3

    Re: happen to be v. is

    Not a teacher

    You could say "when the object is a der word."
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 09-Apr-2017 at 09:56. Reason: Adding 'Not a teacher'.

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    #4

    Re: happen to be v. is

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    Not a teacher

    You could say "when the object is a der word."
    Then what would be different than the original, happen to be?

    Thank you.

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    #5

    Re: happen to be v. is

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    Not a teacher

    You could say "when the object is a der word."
    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    Then what would be different than the original, happen to be?
    In the quoted sentence, is is direct. Happens to be uses four times as many syllables to say the same thing without adding any useful content.

    Use "to happen to be" to express an accidental or coincidental occurrence: Our old friend happened to be in the museum the day we visited it. What a surprise to bump into someone we knew from 2500 miles away!
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    #6

    Re: happen to be v. is

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    In the quoted sentence, is is direct. Happens to be uses four times as many syllables to say the same thing without adding any useful content.

    Use "to happen to be" to express an accidental or coincidental occurrence: Our old friend happened to be in the museum the day we visited it. What a surprise to bump into someone we knew from 2500 miles away!
    Is happen to be an idiom or fixed phrase or can happen be used in this accidental or coincidental sense with other verbs other than be as happen to go, happen to survive which might mean survived by chance?

    Thank you.

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    #7

    Re: happen to be v. is

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    Is happen to be an idiom or fixed phrase or can happen be used in this accidental or coincidental sense with other verbs other than be as happen to go, happen to survive which might mean survived by chance?
    Yes, it is also used with verbs other than be.

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    #8

    Re: happen to be v. is

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Yes, it is also used with verbs other than be.
    Would you please give some simple related examples?

    Thank you.

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    #9

    Re: happen to be v. is

    We happened to bump into our friends from Ohio at the museum in Los Angeles.

    The girls happened to put on the same style of shirt that day.

    The car happened to backfire just as the music started.
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    #10

    Re: happen to be v. is

    I was going to respond to post 8, but GS happened to get there first.

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