"There won't be anything happen to ..."

I saw this on an article. It sounds weird to me. I tried to search on Google with the exact phrase and saw lots of results. I wonder if it's correct. I think there should be "that" between "anything" and "happens" or maybe "something happening". Normally, I always use "nothing will happen" though.


Some of the suggestions on this page are not grammatically valid. In fact, the phrase you propose is not grammatical. Since you don't provide context, I'll do my best to narrow things down for you.

There won't be anything happening to her

Is possible (i.e. is grammatical), though unlikely. This would probably be a sentence uttered by someone assuring another person of the safety of a female in the sense of

Don't worry. There won't be anything happening to her (Nothing will happen/is happening to her)

It could also be:

There won't be anything that happens to... (e.g. interfere with the process)

Using "happens to" in the sense of "to chance", giving us

There won't be anything that might interfere with the process.

Unless you provide more context (i.e. the article where you found it) I won't be able to help further. I can just confirm the phrase is not grammatical.

  • +1 There is also a construction which has largely disappeared from standard speech and writing but is still alive in some dialects (mine, for instance): There won't anything happen to her. If your dialect doesn't use this it may sound odd; but it is perfectly grammatical. Mar 29 '14 at 22:52
  • Fair enough. Thanks for the observation - I'll look that one up. Hopefully OP can tell us where he/she found it to see if that is indeed the phrase.
    – JMB
    Mar 29 '14 at 23:57

If you use wont, it means an established custom. So, it's 'won't' (will not) in this case. But indeed, this is a good question and tricky as well. I'll try though.

There won't be anything happen to me/her/them/whomsoever... - is grammatical.

Think this way and it'll make it clear.

What will happen to her?
Will there be anything happen to her?
Don't worry, there won't be anything happen to her (i.e. nothing will happen to her).

  • 4
    I'm afraid not. "Will there be anything happen to her" is also ungrammatical.
    – user230
    Mar 29 '14 at 20:32
  • 3
    @snailplane is right. You can say "Will anything happen to her", but you can't say *"Will there be anything happen to her" - it would have to be "Will there be anything happening to her" (though that sounds a tad awkward, and I'd definitely use "Will anything happen to her" over that option)
    – Alicja Z
    Mar 29 '14 at 20:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .