Happen to/accidentally

Maïté73

Senior Member
French
Hello!

I have to find alternatives to some sentences, using a semi-auxiliary,
I've looked at the different definition, but here I'm not sure:

"I accidentally saw Mr Brown in the park."
could we say " I happened to see Mr Brown in the park.",

I have some doubts because "accidentally" does not really make sense with the idea of "by chance" carrying by "happen to", but who knows ;)

thanks!
 
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    "I happened to see Mr Brown in the park" is standard and colloquial English. It means exactly that: you saw Mr Brown by chance.
    It is the original "I accidentally saw Mr Brown in the park" which is non-idiomatic. You would only say this if, for some reason, you were supposed not to see him (perhaps you had promised never to meet him again).
     
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