help me with english "happen to sb" "happen for sb"?

Please let me know the difference between "to happen to somebody" and "to happen for somebody"

ex1)Why Doesn't Anything Good Happen For Me?

Q1)In this case, we can also say "Why Doesn't Anything Good Happen To Me"??? Right??

What's the difference?

ex2)Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Q2)In this case, we can also say "Why Do Bad Things Happen for Good People?"??? Right??

What's the difference?

I need your dedicated answer, please

1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    That's a good question!

    I suppose the answer ultimately is "usage."

    "Happen FOR sb" may suggest "happen in their behalf; to work out in their favor."

    "Happen TO sb" may stress "It befell them."

    Q1) Both expressions are used, and any difference between them would be slight and elusive.

    At the most, the distinction between those two sentences might be as I suggested just above.

    To happen FOR sb retains its suggestion of "to work out for me" even in this generic phrase.

    Q2) The expression "bad things happening FOR sb" is not used. An editor would automatically change it to "bad things happening TO sb."

    I guess the idea is that something bad can't be "in your behalf," so it can only "befall you."

    Provocative question!

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