Если бы я знала, что тут будет, ...

{If I had known what would happen here, I would not have come.}

The temptation is great to say "будет происходить" or "произойдёт", but I wonder if "быть" alone is enough to express the idea of "happen"?

Если бы я знала, что тут будет происходить, ...

Если бы я знала, что тут произойдёт, ...

  • one bit of additional info to share is that быть also means to have with regards to food - Что ты будешь? (What would you like to have?) - Я это не буду (I won't eat this) Feb 5 '18 at 15:15
  • @БаянКупи-ка So in my example, does "быть" actually mean "happen", rather than the idea of "происходить" being omitted? Feb 5 '18 at 15:23
  • 1
    i agree with AlexVB's answer, my example above is also a case of omission of the word есть/кушать (to eat) in future tense, it just seems there's a limited set of verbs which in future tense can be reduced to their copula verb быть Feb 5 '18 at 16:20

Если бы я знала, что тут будет - a little colloquial, but that's what people often say in the situation.

Если бы я знала, что тут будет происходить - means the same and neutrally styled

Если бы я знала, что тут произойдёт - a valid phrase with slightly different meaning.

While the first two sentences refer to what continuously happens in general (like a lot of noise, consumption of alcohol etc.), the last sentence talks about some particular fact that have happened (somebody broke their hand, kitchen was burnt etc.)

Если бы я знала, что тут будет - can also have a different meaning:

If I had known what would be [built | placed] here


"Если бы я знала, что тут будет" - as @AlexVB mentioned, this is colloquial. Using a phrase like this sounds too generic, like when a person can't find specific words to describe what is happening, or deliberately stays vague. Ex: "Я пришла, а там такое!" - "I've come, and there was this thing going on!"

Normally, native speakers would try to be more specific with the phrase. "Если бы я знала, что тут будет X" (where X is the name or description of the event or situation that distressed the speaker) is a more complete and literature-friendly phrase.


As the original phrase is more colloquial and probably may be emotional, it sounds perfectly fine to me.

Your temptation is grammatically correct, but using "будет происходить" or "произойдёт" makes it more formal.

I guess in most situations it would be enough (if the context is clear) to use it to express the idea of 'happen'.

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