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  1. #1
    chameleon82 is offline Newbie
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    Happen to have

    "If you happen to have any queries, you can contact me via email."

    "If you happen to be a native speaker of any of these languages, feel free to contact me."

    I have just read these sentences on Internet. I am unable to comprehend "happen to have". What does it mean? Is the usage of this phrase correct here?

    Thanks!!
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 06-Nov-2017 at 14:40. Reason: fixing typo

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Happen to have

    It's an odd idiom, isn't it?

    The sentences sort of mean:

    "I don't expect you to have queries, but if you do, you can contact me via email."

    "You're probably not a native speaker of any of these languages, but if you are, feel free to contact me."

    That's not exactly the intent, though. "Happen to" doesn't suggest strong doubt. It's more casual. It suggests that something would be unexpected or not planned - but not surprising or a cause for concern, either. Other examples:

    - If you happen to be in town tomorrow, come visit us.
    - If you happen upon a four-leaf clover, you'll have good luck all day.
    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.

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Happen to have

    You'll also see the phrase used by people speaking about themselves: I happen to be a blond white man, but I don't think my opinion on the subject is any less important. In this case it's very hard to express what the difference with the straightforward I am a blond white man. For learners, I think it's safe to read this version of I happen to be as equivalent to ​I am.
    I am not a teacher.

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