+0

How can the word “once” be prefixed with a definite article while it is not a noun?

+0

I think you might mean something like the once successful actor.

It's not strictly speaking a prefix, but I think it's what you're looking for. You use "once" as an adverb in these phrases and you use it before an adjective.

Also, the once beautiful women's shop; the once polluted lake; the once great economy of our country.

CJ

Comments  
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
healer

How can the word “once” be prefixed with a definite article while it is not a noun?

It is a noun. Do you have access to a dictionary? Onelook.com gives you several at once, for example https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/once .

If you think of "once" as "one time", "single instance", it might help.

CalifJimI think you might mean something like the once successful actor.

Thanks! Are you saying "just the once" is like "the once successful actor" where "once" is still an adverb and the definite article is referring to the a noun that follows but is not explicitly stated?

Thanks! That is new to me. I did look up the dictionaries that came with my iPhone and it didn't indicate the word "once" was regarded as a noun.

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
healer
CalifJimI think you might mean something like the once successful actor.

Thanks! Are you saying "just the once" is like "the once successful actor" where "once" is still an adverb and the definite article is referring to the a noun that follows but is not explicitly stated?

No, I'm not saying that. I misinterpreted your question. I didn't realize you were asking specifically about the idiom "just the once". I'd call "once" a noun there. It's a way of saying "only that one time". It's chiefly British.

I met Margaret Thatcher just the once, when she opened a party for a Japanese ad agency.

CJ

Thanks again.