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American English: /ˈhæpən/
British English: /ˈhap(ə)n/

Translation of happen in Spanish:

intransitive verb

  • 1 1.1 (occur) what's happened?
    ¿qué ha pasado or sucedido or ocurrido?
    don't let it happen again
    que no vuelva a pasar or suceder or ocurrir
    how did the accident happen?
    ¿cómo ocurrió el accidente?
    she acted as though nothing had happened
    hizo como si nada hubiera pasado
    nothing ever happens round here
    aquí nunca pasa nada
    whatever happens, we'll stand by you
    pase lo que pase, te apoyaremos
    these things happen worse things happen at sea (British English)
    más se perdió en la guerra or (esp Spain) en Cuba
    it's all happening here
    la movida es aquí
    hi, what's happening? (American English) [colloquial]
    hola ¿qué tal? ¿qué es de tu vida? [colloquial]
    Example sentences
    • The accident happened at the Namuang falls on the island of Koh Samui.
    • Nobody wants an accident to happen but if the present chaos continues it is inevitable.
    • Rather in keeping with the tenor of the match, one of the most significant developments happened by accident.
    1.2 (befall, become of)to happen to somebody
    pasarle a alguien
    a strange thing happened to me this morning
    esta mañana me pasó or sucedió or ocurrió una cosa extraña
    why does everything happen to me?
    ¿por qué tendrá que pasarme todo a mí?
    if anything happened to me, you'd inherit everything
    si me pasara or me ocurriera algo, lo heredarías todo tú
    he's very late; I hope nothing has happened to him what's happened to your leg?
    ¿qué te ha pasado en la pierna?
    whatever happened to all those bands of the 60s?
    ¿qué habrá sido de todos aquellos grupos de los años 60?
    Example sentences
    • Has anyone else had anything like any of these experiences happen to them before?
    • Courts and academics brush over what actually happens to such videos once they leave the sex shop.
    • The most difficult decision facing the school must be over what happens to Anne Williams.
  • 2to happen to + infinitive 2.1 (do, be by chance) she happened to be there
    dio la casualidad de que estaba ahí
    if you happen to see her, give her my love
    si por casualidad la ves, dale recuerdos de mi parte
    you don't happen to know the time of the next train, do you?
    ¿usted no sabrá (por casualidad) a qué hora sale el próximo tren?
    2.2 (do, be actually) who's that fat guy over there? — he happens to be my brother
    ¿quién es ese gordo de ahí? — pues da la casualidad de que es mi hermano
    it was a wonderful production; I just don't happen to like opera
    fue una puesta excelente; lo que pasa es que a mí no me gusta la ópera

impersonal verb

  • how does it happen that he gets paid more than me?
    ¿cómo puede ser que gane or cómo es que gana más que yo?
    it may happen that you'll get a question like that in the examination
    puede ser que en el examen te toque una pregunta como esa
    it (just) so happens that I know him
    da la casualidad de que lo conozco
    as it happens, I'm going that way myself
    da la casualidad de que yo también voy hacia allí
    well, as it happens, I already knew that
    pues para que sepas, yo ya lo sabía
    as often seems to happen
    como suele pasar or suceder or ocurrir

Phrasal verbs

happen along

verb + adverb

happen on

happen upon verb + preposition + object
encontrarse or toparse con
we happened on a wonderful restaurant in the port
descubrimos un restaurante maravilloso en el puerto
Definition of happen in:
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