Why is “to happen” an intransitive verb?

The verb to happen means to be witnessed or to be experienced.

(a) An accident happened. = (b) An accident was witnessed / was experienced by someone.

As you may have noticed, despite the active verb form, Sentence (a) already conveys a connotative passive sense as in Sentence (b). So it wouldn’t make sense to adopt the passive voice twice (as in *An accident was happened).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.