'Once' can act as both an adverb and a conjunction. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.
'Once' as an Adverb
One of the main functions of 'once' is to be an adverb. Below, we are going to learn about the kinds of adverbs it can be:
'Once' as an Adverb of Frequency
'Once' can be an adverb of frequency:
- It is used to state that something will happen only on one occasion:
I've only seen this movie
They've been to this café
- When we want to indicate that something was in a way at some time in the past, but not anymore:
Here, it means she no longer is.
Position in a Sentence
Since 'once' is an adverb here, we mainly put it after verbs or other adverbs to modify them. Look at the following examples:
She treated me with kindness
'Once' as a Conjunction
Another function of 'once' is to be a conjunction. Let us see the kind of conjunction it is:
'Once' as a Subordinating Conjunction
I called the others
Here, it is used to state that as soon as dinner was ready, she/he did what she did.
The Swifts rang the door bell
Position in a Sentence
'Once' as a conjunction can be put at the beginning of the subordinate clause, or between the two clauses. Look:
She was forced to apologize
Idioms with 'Once'
'Once' is one of the words with which we have many idioms. Let us see what we have in this section:
- At once: This expression has two meanings. One is to show some things happen at the same time and the other is to show that something must be done immediately.
Here, the sentence is indicating that the particular person must do the action right away.
All the guests started talking
Here, the sentence indicates that multiple people did something at the same time.
- For once: When we want to signify that something happens that does not usually happen, we use this idiom.
- Just this once: This idiom is used when we want to indicate that something is only happening on this one specific occasion. Take a look:
She believes that her mother would accept her idea,
- Once again: When we want to indicate that something has happened before and is being repeated again. Look:
Your lie has been revealed
She will be living a glorious life,
- Once more: This expression also has two meanings. One is 'one more time' and the other is to specify that something has happened again:
Although I've been to Australia before, I'd like to go there
Despite her terrible mistreatment, she eased my pain
- Once or twice: This one is used to talk about something that has happened a few times.
She has texted me
The reverend and his friend has been to this church
- Every once in a while: This one means 'sometimes':
I watch some episodes of Friends
- Once and for all: When we want to state that finally something will be solved, we use this expression:
Remove this fool from our group
Hang this monstrous creature who has cursed our city
- Once in a lifetime: Something that is probable to happen once in someone's life:
These opportunities come
Friends such as her are found
It might be useful to know that we have another idiom with 'once' that is specific to British people. Take a look below:
- The once: It is used to indicate that something has happened only once:
They have played poker
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