once per year, once a year, once in a year

< Previous | Next >

Olga_Olga

New Member
Russia - Russian, English, Portuguese
Please, could you clear up for me what is the difference in the usage of the following phrases:
once/twice... per year, once/twice... a year, once/twice.... in a year? Is it true that the first one sounds more official? Is the last one correct at all?

Thank you!
Olga
 
  • manon33

    Senior Member
    English - England (Yorkshire)
    Please, could you clear up for me what is the difference in the usage of the following phrases:
    once/twice... per year, once/twice... a year, once/twice.... in a year? Is it true that the first one sounds more official?:tick: Is the last one correct at all?:cross:

    Thank you!
    Olga
    Once a year is also fine and as you suggest, slightly less formal.
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I've never heard of "once a while". Do you have an example of its use that you can share with us? The correct form, to my knowledge, is "once in a while".

    Edited to add: I'm astounded to have just found around 300 uses of "once a while" on Australian web pages. Some are quoting foreign pages and the rest are either very casual language or "(I met him) once(,) a while (ago)", but it looks as though it is used by some sections of the Australian community, in a very informal register, to mean "once in a while". Personally, I find it very odd indeed.
     
    Last edited:

    Crimson-Sky

    Senior Member
    Arabic-العربية
    Thank you so much for your answer, what about once in a decade/century/year/..., are they equivalent to once a decade/century/year/... ?
    This phenomena happens once a decade or this phenomena happens once in a decade ?
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    ... what about once in a decade/century/year/..., are they equivalent to once a decade/century/year/... ? This phenomena happens once a decade or this phenomena happens once in a decade ?
    I think the versions are used in different contexts. Once a decade describes the frequency of foreseeable events; once in a decade describes the frequency of unforeseeable events.

    This light phenomenon happens once a decade.
    You can feel that happy only once in a decade.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top