Quick answer
"Happens" is a form of "happen", an intransitive verb which is often translated as "suceder". "Whatever happens" is a phrase which is often translated as "pase lo que pase". Learn more about the difference between "whatever happens" and "happens" below.
whatever happens
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (no matter what happens)
a. pase lo que pase
Whatever happens in the trial, I'll stand by you.Pase lo que pase en el juicio, yo seguiré a tu lado.
b. ocurra lo que ocurra
We will always be friends, whatever happens.Siempre seremos amigas, ocurra lo que ocurra.
2. (used as part of a relative clause)
a. lo que pase
"You have to adjust to whatever happens in the race," said the marathon runner."Tienes que adaptarte a lo que pase durante la carrera," dijo la corredora de maratón.
b. lo que ocurra
We're a tough people and we're ready to cope with whatever happens next.Somos un pueblo fuerte y estamos preparados para afrontar lo que ocurra ahora.
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happen(
hah
-
pihn
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to take place)
a. suceder
Everything happened too fast. Todo sucedió demasiado rápido.
b. ocurrir
I can't believe what just happened.No puedo creer lo que acaba de ocurrir.
c. pasar
Everything bad happens to me!¡Todo lo malo me pasa a mí!
2. (to occur by chance)
a. de casualidad (adverb)
If you happen to come by the office, we could get a coffee.Si de casualidad te pasas por la oficina, podemos tomar un café.
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