I've encountered a problem :)


This site is actually a nest of patterns… I observe with smile that after some time of using it the vast majority :slight_smile: of us, regular ‘students’, started to use quite similar language
and ‘forum’s patterns’.

One of them is 'I came across … ’ – and you can see how often it occurs in ‘introductions’ for questions being asked by regular members.

But it doesn’t matter.:slight_smile:

My true question is: can I say “I came across (some) problems” ? :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
How does it sound?

(My usual way is “encountered problems”, but ‘come across’ and ‘encounter’ are quite close in meaning, aren’t they? )

Hi Tamara

My personal feeling for “come across” tells me I wouldn’t use it quite so directly with the word “problem”. But, that same feeling tells me I might “come across something that presents a problem”. 8)


So you feeling says that in this case they are not synonyms
(And [you feel that] come across requires a bit more ‘material’ things to encounter than encounter does :))

Thank you, Amy.

Hi Tamara :smiley:

“Encounter a problem” sounds far more typical to me and therefore my feeling whispered in my ear that it’s a better word partnership. :lol:

Encounter” and “come across” are synonymous. And if you google “come across a problem” you will get over 60,000 results. (bnc returned only one result) What I gave you was my personal reaction to that particular collocation.

Interestingly, the majority of results on the first two Google pages seem to have come from “Techies”. I wonder if I should read anything into that. :lol:


Hi Amy

Can I ask you one more question?

Do you normally use Perfect forms with to come across?

Hi Tamara

I’m not quite sure I understand what you’re getting at. :?:

I’d have no problem using a perfect form if the context calls for a perfect form. I don’t think I can estimate how often I use “come across” in which tense, though.


Thank you, Amy.

(I directly meant ‘I had/have come across…’ and ‘I never had/have come across’.
No any hidden reefs in the question :slight_smile: :wink: )

Hi Tamara

Word order: had/have never come across :wink:

Obviously, present perfect would be more often used than past perfect by any native speaker.