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I'm just asking to make sure. Which one is correct?

  1. The idea arose to me.
  2. The idea arose for me.
  • The idea arose in me ;-) – Jan Doggen Jun 28 '18 at 11:51
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Neither of the sentences you suggest is natural: the verb arise cannot be used in this way. The best way to express this would be to use a different verb:

The idea came to me
The idea occurred to me.

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I'm afraid your sentences seem a little off.

"Idea arise" is usually followed by prepositions such as: from or in, and an event rather than one's self.

here are a couple of examples:

The idea arose from her husband's newest business venture: arranging customized safaris. [source]

The idea arose from a method used by Matthew LeBreton to preserve dead snakes. [source]

Ms. Kindell said the idea arose in the interest of helping groups defend themselves at audits. [source]

The idea arose after Carey drivers made hundreds of trips for people stranded by the Sept. 11 attacks. [source]

Therefore, I suggest using these instead:

I came up with the idea.

The idea popped up in my head.

The idea formed / emerged in my mind.

The idea flashed into my mind.

The idea hit me.

  • So, if I’m reading this right, “The idea arose in my head” would be okay, too, especially if additional context explains what prompted the idea. – J.R. Jun 28 '18 at 10:41
  • @J.R. No, I don't think it would. As I've explained above, it seems really off to use something like "my mind / head". take a look at the examples. here is more: "The idea arose in response to people's need of drinkable water" – ArashSM79 Jun 28 '18 at 10:49

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