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What happen or what happened?

English translation: what happened

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:What happen or what happened?
English translation:what happened
Entered by: Ricardo Galarza
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

06:05 Feb 26, 2010
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / Dialog
English term or phrase: What happen or what happened?
Which would be the correct form in the following dialog:

--You look upset, Jen. What happen (or happened)?
--I had a terrible day.
Ricardo Galarza
Uruguay
Local time: 07:49
what happened
Explanation:
The past tense, 'happened' is correct.

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Note added at 2 hrs (2010-02-26 08:47:43 GMT)
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In the context offered, you are asking what (events) happened that changed or effected Jen. She responds "I had a bad day". 'Had' is not the present. In her response she alludes to events that have already occurred that have made her look/seem upset, and have contributed to her having a bad day.

The following URLs offers some good examples of proper usage for the word 'happen'. (dictionary references) They may help to shed some light on this for you.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happen
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/happen

The same conversation, stated differently, would work with the usage of 'happen'. Example:

"You look upset, Jen, did something happen? [did a change of some sort occur?]

"I had a terrible day."

"What happen"? is incomplete. It is, however used in slang omitting the 'ed'. It is not proper English, as David has done a good job explaining.

If you browse some of the the millions of hits on the net, and search through them, you may find many things. Most search engines pick up the 'search' word in any form. This helps people who are not native speakers to get where they may want to go.

Many sites I viewed where 'what happen' was used were entered by people who do not understand the many ways in which the word 'happen' can be used properly. I work with English language learners, who often adopt or confuse slang and seemingly become comfortable with this type of usage. This sort of usage is common slang: "What up"? "What happen?" What down"? I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that though you can use 'happen' many different ways, asking the question "What happen"? is always and forever incorrect. It's confusing, to be sure.

In the following URL (one of those million hits) is an excellent example of a key word being picked up by a search, yet the writer has very poor English language skills in many ways. Because the statement exists on the internet does not make it correct.

The 'search' function grabs any word and offers a million different possibilities, but does not affirm that the exact word or phrase used in the search is correct.

I very often see 'happen' used incorrectly when editing Chinese>English. That is a very easy mistake to make, due to the complexities of the English language.

I hope this helps a bit.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2010-02-26 08:50:26 GMT)
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http://www.ehelp.com/questions/10436338/what-happen-to-the-a...
Selected response from:

Demi Ebrite
United States
Local time: 05:49
Grading comment
It did help and a lot, trust me. Thank you so much, Demi; you have a great weekend!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +5What happened?
David Hollywood
4 +5what happened
Demi Ebrite
5 +1what happened / what's happened / what's happening
Sheila Wilson
5what's up?/ what's the matter?
Oliver Lawrence


Discussion entries: 14





  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
what happen or what happened?
What happened?


Explanation:
:)

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Note added at 6 mins (2010-02-26 06:12:11 GMT)
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or: What went on?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 mins (2010-02-26 06:14:38 GMT)
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or: What got to you? (freer)

David Hollywood
Local time: 07:49
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 80
Notes to answerer
Asker: Hi, David. Thanks again; I really appreciate your help. So when is one supposed to ask "what happen" in present tense?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Stephanie Ezrol
5 hrs

agree  Sébastien GUITTENY
8 hrs

agree  Tina Vonhof: 'What happen' is grammatically wrong period.
8 hrs

agree  Ildiko Santana: Never ask 'what happen'. Period. :)
9 hrs

agree  JaneTranslates: You can ask "what's happening," but never "what happen." You can also ask "What happens (if someone sticks a pin into an inflated balloon)." "What" takes a singular verb; "happen" is plural.
11 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
what happen or what happened?
what happened / what's happened / what's happening


Explanation:
I agree with earlier answerers, but I'd like a bit of space to comment.

I really don't understand where "what happen" comes from. The "s" on the 3rd person singular of the present tense is something that's taught in the first few lessons. You will find millions of "what happens" on the internet - what happens when/if you do something eg what happens when water reaches 100%C? - It boils.

The three answers I have given are all common. They refer to the following:

What happened? in the past (past simple)

What's happened? ('s = has, not is) in the past to make you sad/angry now (present perfect simple)

What's happening? now that's making you sad/angry (present continuous).

You could also use "what's been happening" - this is the present perfect continuous, which concentrates more on an action (eg my life's falling apart), rather than an event (eg my spouse left me)

But then again, as it's speech I wouldn't use the verb to happen at all! We'd say: What's up? What's the matter?




Sheila Wilson
Spain
Local time: 11:49
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 24

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ildiko Santana: Now that the asker wants to use present tense (see below), 'what's happening' would also work. Just don't ever say 'what happen'. Period. :) // Yes. Actually, "what's happening" is more like saying "how's it going" (ever seen Office Space, the comedy? :)
7 hrs
  -> Thanks. 'What's happening' for present tense usage works OK, though I prefer "What's the matter?" in this context
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
what happen or what happened?
what happened


Explanation:
The past tense, 'happened' is correct.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2010-02-26 08:47:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------


In the context offered, you are asking what (events) happened that changed or effected Jen. She responds "I had a bad day". 'Had' is not the present. In her response she alludes to events that have already occurred that have made her look/seem upset, and have contributed to her having a bad day.

The following URLs offers some good examples of proper usage for the word 'happen'. (dictionary references) They may help to shed some light on this for you.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happen
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/happen

The same conversation, stated differently, would work with the usage of 'happen'. Example:

"You look upset, Jen, did something happen? [did a change of some sort occur?]

"I had a terrible day."

"What happen"? is incomplete. It is, however used in slang omitting the 'ed'. It is not proper English, as David has done a good job explaining.

If you browse some of the the millions of hits on the net, and search through them, you may find many things. Most search engines pick up the 'search' word in any form. This helps people who are not native speakers to get where they may want to go.

Many sites I viewed where 'what happen' was used were entered by people who do not understand the many ways in which the word 'happen' can be used properly. I work with English language learners, who often adopt or confuse slang and seemingly become comfortable with this type of usage. This sort of usage is common slang: "What up"? "What happen?" What down"? I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that though you can use 'happen' many different ways, asking the question "What happen"? is always and forever incorrect. It's confusing, to be sure.

In the following URL (one of those million hits) is an excellent example of a key word being picked up by a search, yet the writer has very poor English language skills in many ways. Because the statement exists on the internet does not make it correct.

The 'search' function grabs any word and offers a million different possibilities, but does not affirm that the exact word or phrase used in the search is correct.

I very often see 'happen' used incorrectly when editing Chinese>English. That is a very easy mistake to make, due to the complexities of the English language.

I hope this helps a bit.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2010-02-26 08:50:26 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://www.ehelp.com/questions/10436338/what-happen-to-the-a...


Demi Ebrite
United States
Local time: 05:49
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 36
Grading comment
It did help and a lot, trust me. Thank you so much, Demi; you have a great weekend!
Notes to answerer
Asker: Hi Demi. Thank you so much for your help. But why is the past tense correct here? The conversation is taking place in the present. Does that mean that this question should never be formulated in the present tense (what happen?), or what is the rationale behind it? Because you type "what happen" in Google and you get a million (literally) hits.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jack Doughty: "What happen" is a slang form, wrong but often used; but sometimes you have to translate in a way that reflects such wrong usage.
1 hr
  -> Thank you Jack, that is so true!

agree  Peter Skipp: "Wha'appen?" is a London West Indian _greeting_. "What's up?", "What's happening?", "How goes it?" are formulaic half-greeting-half-questions. "What happened" is a question to clarify events. "What's happened" is a question immediately after an event.
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, Peter. Yes, yes and yes!

agree  Sébastien GUITTENY
8 hrs
  -> Thank you, penfriend.

agree  Ildiko Santana: Never ask 'what happen'. Period. :)
9 hrs
  -> Thank you, ildiko. Absolutely!

agree  Maria Fokin
9 hrs
  -> Thank you, Maria.
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
what happen or what happened?
what's up?/ what's the matter?


Explanation:
there's no particular reason why you have to use the verb "to happen" here, of course.

Oliver Lawrence
Italy
Local time: 12:49
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (3): writeaway, SJLD, Rob Grayson


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Changes made by editors
Feb 26, 2010 - Changes made by Rob Grayson:
LevelPRO » Non-PRO
Feb 26, 2010 - Changes made by writeaway:
FieldArt/Literary » Other
Field (specific)Marketing / Market Research » General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters


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