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something very strange happened to her Options
Reiko07
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 12:25:15 AM

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(1) Karen stayed in a town near Area 51 for a few weeks, during which time something very strange happened to her.

(2) Karen stayed in a town near Area 51 for a few weeks, during which time she had something very strange happen to her.

(my original sentences)

Do you see any difference in connotation between these two sentences?








Blodybeef
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 12:47:33 AM

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I see the two sentences mean the same thing, with the second one sounding a bit oddly.

Gabriel82
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 1:21:17 AM

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Reiko07 wrote:
(1) Karen stayed in a town near Area 51 for a few weeks, during which time something very strange happened to her.

(2) Karen stayed in a town near Area 51 for a few weeks, during which time she had something very strange happen to her.

(my original sentences)

Do you see any difference in connotation between these two sentences?



Superficially, there is no apparent difference in the sentences. However, there are two separate tenses used. The first uses simple past, which indicates a single completed action at ONE point in the past; the second employs the past perfect, that implies two actions and could imply two slightly different reasons at two different points in time in the past (see the link here).

It ultimately depends if you wish to emphasize ONLY one action or to suggest two occurred.
Reiko07
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 1:34:37 AM

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Blodybeef wrote:
I see the two sentences mean the same thing, with the second one sounding a bit oddly.

Does the following sentence sound odd to you?

(3) Yesterday, I had something very strange happen to me.

This sentence uses the following pattern:

have + object + bare infinitive
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 1:36:13 AM

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In this case I disagree with Gabriel. Anxious

That isn't the past perfect - though it used 'had'.
It's the simple past of "She's having something strange happen" - like - "She's having her hair cut". "Happen" is an infinitive.
(The past perfect would be "Something very strange had happened to her".)

She had something strange happen.
She had her hair cut.

Though they would (in this Area 51 sentence) be assumed to mean the same thing, the second one really has another connotation.

"To have something done" is to CAUSE it to be done, to persuade, pay, hire, bribe or otherwise cause someone to do it.

So "something strange happened to her" - she was effect of it.
"She had something strange happen to her" - She caused it.

Blodybeef
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 1:38:50 AM

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Reiko07 wrote:
Blodybeef wrote:
I see the two sentences mean the same thing, with the second one sounding a bit oddly.

Does the following sentence sound odd to you?

(3) Yesterday, I had something very strange happen to me.

This sentence uses the following pattern:

have + object + bare infinitive


The construction seems correct, but following the rule "simple is better" I'd say it is a roundabout way to say, "Yesterday, something very strange happened to me."
Reiko07
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 1:39:31 AM

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Gabriel82 wrote:
the second employs the past perfect,

the past perfect? Eh?

The blue part of (2) uses the following pattern:

have + object + bare infinitive
Reiko07
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 1:54:45 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
"She had something strange happen to her" - She caused it.

Thanks, DS.

The "have + object + bare infinitive" construction can mean "to cause to happen" or "to experience".

I was assuming the following:

"She had something very strange happen to her" - She experienced it.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 2:02:59 AM

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Yes - that's what I meant when I said "It would - in this sentence - be assumed to mean the same thing." (I didn't say it well.)

Generally (the way I speak), one uses the simplest sentence possible.

So the choice is:
Something very strange happened to her.
She had something very strange happen to her.

Since there is absolutely no need to say the second sentence, one wouldn't (except maybe in poetry or for some other 'rhythm' or 'literary' reason).

The only real reason to ever use that form is when you mean to show cause.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 2:06:07 AM

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Reiko07 wrote:
Does the following sentence sound odd to you?
Yesterday, I had something very strange happen to me.

To me, it doesn't sound really 'natural' - so yes, it sounds 'odd'.

Yesterday something very strange happened to me.
Reiko07
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 2:14:58 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Generally (the way I speak), one uses the simplest sentence possible.

So the choice is:
Something very strange happened to her.
She had something very strange happen to her.

Since there is absolutely no need to say the second sentence, one wouldn't (except maybe in poetry or for some other 'rhythm' or 'literary' reason).

Thank you very much, DS. Dancing

I was assuming the following:

(2) provides a little more focus on "Karen" than (1) does.
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