I was wondering if you came across it by any chance?

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Egoexpress

Senior Member
Hungary, Hungarian
Hi,

I've lost my phone charger and I wanted to email my mates to inquire whether they found it or not.

- I was wondering if you came across it by any chance?

or

- I was wondering if you didn't come across it by any chance?

or

- I was wondering if you stumbled upon it by any chance?

or

- I was wondering if you didn't stumble upon it by any chance?

Do all the above sample sentences sound OK?

Thank you!

Ego
 
  • Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    They all all are "ok". I'd (personally) omit the "any" at the end of each. It's not wrong by any means, I'd just not include it.

    "By chance, did you happen to stumble upon a (my) cell phone?"
    "Did you happen to find a (my) cell phone, by chance?"
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Avoid the negative didn't in informal writing: it is liable to misunderstanding or teasing. It is quite correct to add this redundant 'not' in a hypothetical, so that the positive and negative versions mean the same thing, but it's rather literary. Or it may be used in very hesitant speech, but it's much less common than the positive version. There's a good chance the person you're writing to would never use it themself.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I wouldn't use "stumble". A mobile phone isn't big enough to stumble across.

    Keep the "any", it has a different meaning from the one Filsmith proposes. "By any chance" means "although the possibility is remote". It doesn't mean "by accident" ("by chance").
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I wouldn't use "stumble". A mobile phone isn't big enough to stumble across.
    "Stumble upon" is not literal when said this way, it's figurative. Stumble is just fine (at least in AmE).

    Keep the "any", it has a different meaning from the one Filsmith proposes. "By any chance" means "although the possibility is remote". It doesn't mean "by accident" ("by chance").
    That's not, in any way, the meaning I attributed to "any". I'm speaking from my, AmE, perspective/opinion. I stand by what I said in my post; Each and every point made.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I don't care for the ones with "didn't." It seems to me that you're asking if I managed (with great difficulty) to avoid finding your phone. It's right there in plain sight. Were you lucky enough to not find it? :eek:
     
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