by accident /by chance / accidentally

zaffy

Senior Member
Polish
1. 'I came across his letter by accident /by chance / accidentally.' - are these three correct? I feel 'accidentally' doesn't fit, right?

2. 'Why is it so hot here?' 'Sorry, I turned on the heating by accident /by chance / accidentally.' and here all three look fine to me, am I right?
 
  • much_rice

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Given only the context in the sentences themselves, I'd say all three work for number 1, but only "by accident" and "accidentally" work for number 2.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    1. 'I came across his letter by accident:tick: /by chance:tick: / accidentally:tick:' - are these three correct? I feel 'accidentally' doesn't fit, right

    2. 'Why is it so hot here?' 'Sorry, I turned on the heating by accident:tick: /by chance:cross: / accidentally.':tick: and here all three look fine to me, am I right?
    You can't turn on the heating 'by chance', but you can do it unintentionally (accidentally), I suppose (not in my place: turning on the heating is a complicated business.:D).
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    So can you somehow explain when 'by accident/by chance / accidentally' are interchangeable and when not?
     
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