My dictionary says that to come along means "to progress or to shape up." For example:

How is that project coming along?

I would like to know, is "to happen or to arise" a valid meaning as well? As in:

How did this issue/problem come along?

  • 3
    I haven't heard 'come along', but 'come about' is used in this way.
    – mcalex
    Feb 11 '13 at 9:14

To Come Along means :

  1. To make advances to a goal; progress: Things are coming along fine.
  2. To go with someone else who takes the lead: I'll come along on the hike.
  3. To show up; appear: Don't take the first offer that comes along.

So your question can be meaningful, according to the third meaning. You can probably use come along in the following way:

How did this issue/problem come along?

which would mean how did this issue show up/appear to you?

However you can consider substituting come about in place of come along to mean what you are genuinely trying to imply i.e.

How did this issue/problem come about?

which would mean how did this issue happen to you?.

  • 3
    I think come about might be the better idiom here; it's even listed at the page where you link to, and its meaning is "To take place; happen." It's hard to say for sure which phrasing would be more suitable, and it might very well depend on the nature of the issue or problem.
    – J.R.
    Feb 11 '13 at 10:02
  • @J.R., Added come about to make it more handy to the OP.
    – Mistu4u
    Feb 11 '13 at 10:13
  • ...and more handy to everyone else.
    – J.R.
    Feb 11 '13 at 10:14
  • 2
    @Mistu4u, it is not correct to say that 'come along' and 'come about' have the same meaning. They do not. As J.R. and mcalex have pointed out, 'come along' does not mean 'show up/appear to you'; of these two choices, only 'come about' does. Please consider amending your answer. Feb 11 '13 at 10:51
  • @ShawnMooney, I have never said they save the same meaning. I said come along does not mean which the OP thinks it does i.e. to happen and then I said that using come along in this context can mean to show up/appear. Then to make the answer complete and handy for the OP, like J.R. commented, I added the meaning of come about i.e. to happen, but I never implied they have the same meaning.
    – Mistu4u
    Feb 11 '13 at 13:57

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