Differences between “happen” and “occur”.
It is an interesting question. There are some differences between “happen” and “occur”.
Happen can be used in the following contexts;
- rough time or place
- Informal context
- accidental or unplanned events
Happen is closely associated with blind chance, which can’t be anticipated.
- The accident happened at 9:30 p.m.
- I happen to know him.
- Something, nothing, anything, much, little, a few things, an odd thing etc. happened.
But as soon as the subject has the slightest semblance of definition, “happen” is changed to “occur” or “take place”.
We use Occur in the following contexts;
- expecte events, like dates
- discoveries, ideas
- formal conversations
The word “occur” conveys the sense of “”coming into existence as a process or an event. Like:
- It occurred to me that I was on the wrong path.
Both the words are often followed by the prepositions “at” and “in” the sentence. Like;
- The sun eclipse occurred at 6 p.m.
- It happened in the evening
It is incorrect to talk of prearranged events “occurring” or “happening”.
- The wedding took place in the afternoon.( not occurred or happened)
- The party took place in the evening.