January 27, 2014

“Happen that/to …”

An infinitive plus हुआ can express “happen that/to …”, for instance:

आपका यहां कैसे आना हुआ – “How did you happen to come here?” (i.e. “Why have you come here”?)

हमारा ट्रेन में एक दूसरे के पास बैठना हुआ – “We happened to sit next to each other on the train”

One can also say ऐसा हुआ कि:

संयोग (सेऐसा हुआ कि हम रस्ते पर मिले – “Coincidentally, it so happened that we met along the way”

This expression can be used in other contexts, of course:

पहली बार ऐसा हुआ कि एक अधिकारी ने अपने पद का त्याग कर दिया – “For the first time ever, an official resigned his office”

  • M Sewlall

    Hi David,
    Why did you use आपका instead of आप in “आपका यहां कैसे आना हुआ” and हमारा instead of हम in “हमारा ट्रेन में एक दूसरे के पास बैठना हुआ”.

    • Good question. This is Hindi idiom: the sense is literally “When did your coming here occur?”; Hindi infinitives very often function like English gerunds (verbal nouns), e.g. “coming”. It’s one grammatical option; we could also say “आप यहां कब आया”, etc.