It's a nice idiom, sounds very poetic, like the beginning of some cowboy's reflections.
"It came as it had to come. The rains were strong in those days, and the new rivers hoed the bare earth better than any farmer, and carried many a careful plot with them. It was life and ruin all the same time."
The German sentence is idiomatic. But there is an (obligatory) comma missing before "wie".
Before "als", you have an obligatory comma (because "als" is a conjunction), but not before "wie", cf. the examples at https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/wie#Vergleichspartikel (because "wie" is a comparative particulate)
That would be: "Es kam wie es kommen muss." "Musste" is past tense and translates to "had to" or "must have".
In a sentence like this, what are the rules that determine where the verbs are placed? It's confusing since there are three verbs in the sentence, two conjugated verbs (kam and musste) and one infinitive (kommen).
If I understand correctly, "es kam" is the main clause of the sentence, so the verb is in the second position. "Wie" makes the second clause into a subordinate clause, and subordinate clauses have the verb be last. If that sentence had not been a subordinate clause, it would have been "es musste kommen", but the fact that it's a subordinate clause pushes the main verb (musste) to the end of the clause. While these clauses can be annoying when you're learning, they allow you to change the word order a lot more, since this sentence could also be "wie es kommen musste, kam es" while being clearly different from "es musste kommen wie es kam". I hope this clarifies things instead of making it more complicated.
How about 'What will be will be'? This got a big red cross, but seems like an idiomatic equivalent to me,
You want "müss," not "müssen"--to agree with "es." But that would mean "It came as it has to come," which doesn't make sense. If it "has to come," then it's going to come in the future, but it "came" in the past
I think you'd have to have the whole sentence in the past tense: "It came like it was supposed to come."
This was a jawbreaker for me the first time I hit it. But I put it on a sticky on my desktop - as I usually do with sentences I find difficult - and let it sit there. Read it sometimes. Repeated it sometimes. Now I can rattle it right off, and thus confuse my friends and baffle my enemies. ;-)
I calculated it would take 1.4 billion utterances before saying this sentence!
I thought "It was bound to happen" was determined to be a correct answer? I just lost a point.
I put "The inevitable happened", but the inevitable happened and it was marked wrong!
It sounds to me like the are saying 'es kam wie es KAMEN musste'
I'm not sure what that sentence would mean. The "if" doesn't really make sense there. But "wie" just means "like" or "as" or "how"--there's no "if" in the German sentence.
Hmm, maybe it's just a slight variation in dialect, because I would not say "It came as it had to come" or "it looks as it will rain" but I might say "it came as if it had to come" and "it looks as if it will rain." I would normally use "like" instead of "as if" but never just "as".
I completely agree with your "rain" sentence--I would say "as if" or "like" there, too. Now that I think about it, your "as if it had to come" sentence does make sense, but I'd say it means something slightly different from the German sentence.
The German sentence ("as") implies that "it" was predicted or forced to come, and "it" came according to that prediction, "as/because it had to." It's the same sense as "He tripped and fell, as I told him he would." (I told him he would fall, and indeed he did.)
Your version ("as if") means that "it"'s coming implies that "it" was forced to come. It's the same sense as, e.g., "He looked scared, as if he'd seen a ghost." (Looking scared implies that he saw a ghost.) You would use "als ob" to translate this to German: "Es kam, als ob es kommen musste."
Ohh, Danke für die Erklärung! Yeah, I see now. Why I was confused was that I always did think of the sentence as saying that "it" was forced to come instead of it having been predicted or expected to come.
It went how it had to go isn't accepted but I think that's the way we'd say it in English. "It came as it had to come" sounds a little unusual.
Suggest "It had to happen" as idiomatic English equivalent - which was marked wrong - and that "it'd" is impossible here.
"Musste" is past tense, and the verb "müssen" is closer to "must / have to" than "should." So "It came as it had to come."
The English translation for this needs to change. "It came as it had to come" doesn't mean anything in English. If this is idiomatic, the translation should be the equivalent English idiom, not the literal word-for-word translation.