Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
1.- What happened to you?
2.- What it happened to you?
3.- What did happen to you?
4.- What did it happen to you?
Thanks so much!!!
1) What happened to you?
Common and accepted.
2) What it happened to you?
I am not sure that it is grammatically correct. It sounds very awkward. Not used in UK or US.
3) What did happen to you? Sounds awkward, though it looks grammatically correct. I could be wrong on the grammatical correctness.
4) What did it happen to you. See #2 explanation.
#1 is by far the most commonly used and accepted. If you saw a boy crying in the playground, you'd say, "What happened to you?" That sounds natural.
If you wanted an unusual wording, you might say something like, "Whatever did happen to you?" If you saw someone all dressed up but covered in mud, you might say "Whatever did happen to you?" to add emphasis to your surprise and shock. But as a native English speaker, that still sounds odd to my ear.
Thus, #1 meets your criteria of a) adequate, b) grammatically correct, and c) used in UK and US.
Hope that helps.
maj:I would say the only correct one is 'What happened to you?' or 'Did anything happen to you?'. You can't have two subjects when you use 'what' because 'what' is the subject. However, if you get rid of the particle 'what' then you can have a subject. i.e. Did anything happen to you. Something did happen to me, did the same happen to you?. Miriam help . It sounds confusing, doesn't it?
2. What did happen to you?
The difference between  and  is the inclusion of the auxiliary verb "do". This is added to secure emphasis, and is called the intensive form. Example:
A: What happened to your face? Did you get into a fight?
A: Then what did happen?
Here's an example in the present simple:
I don't know what my teacher is talking about. I do work hard.
Do you know what's happening with me?: I'm a scientist. And we are always looking for strong accepted laws, even in Grammar!!
Yes, grammatically correct too.
Here is the definition of happen: http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/h/h0054300.html
2. To take place.
So we could write this as....
What took place?
What took place here?
What happened here?
What happened to you? is perfectly correct English. I don't know how to explain it better, but I know as an English speaking person that it is correct.
Now I feel I found the grammatical rule for this case: "What" and "Who" can be used as subjects in sentences like: "What happened to you?"; "Who phoned me?" and there's no need of using the auxiliary verb "do", which do happens if I say: "When did it happen?" because "When" can not be used as subject (or Why, Where, etc). Is this "rule" correct?
I *** your understanding is solid. I can't explain it to you in grammatical terms. I just know what is correct and incorrect.
What happened to you? Who phoned me? are both correct.
When did it happen? I *** the subject is "it". It happened at 5 pm.
Perhaps someone else with a stronger grammatical background will jump in and provide more detail and clarity.
Hope that helps.
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