"Do you happen to know is if she has a boyfriend?"

What does the above sentence means . I heard those line in the movie 'the social network' and I would like to know when do we use this phrase "happen to know" .

  • Sure? Wasn't there that instead of is? – Maulik V May 10 '16 at 11:02
  • 2
    No, “that” doesn't fit at all; “if” does. For the answer, see here. – userr2684291 May 10 '16 at 11:18

Do you happen to know if she has a boyfriend? (I think there's a mistake, it should be if instead of is).

Happen +to infinitive means chance to do something or come about.

Happen to know means do you know by chance?..


Do you happen to know if she has a boyfriend?

It means the same as "Do you know if she has a boyfriend?", with the only difference that the use of happen in front of the to-infinitive "to know" makes the question a polite request.

You can use happen + to-infinitive, including to know, to express that something happens or exists by chance. For examples:

I happen to know his brother.

He happened to have some money.

I never happened to talk to him.

Besides, you can also use happen + to-infinitive to make a polite request. For examples:

Do you happen to know the way to the station?

You don't happen to have any money, do you?

Do you happen to know the time?

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