Monday, September 12, 2011


Occur = (1) to take place: ‘The event is scheduled to occur at noon tomorrow.’ (2) to come to mind; happen: ‘This idea never occurred to me.’ (3) to be found to exist or appear: ‘Precious stones occur in a large area in Brazil.’

Occur is usually used in connection with unplanned events: ‘Many of the serious accidents that occur are caused by human error.’ ‘Tornadoes occur when a warm weather front meets a body of very cold air.’

For planned events, use take place: ‘The wedding will take place at St. Andrew’s church.’

Occur is used mainly in formal styles: ‘These violent incidents frequently occur without any warning.’

The usual word is happen: ‘The incident happened just outside my house.’

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