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  1. #1
    Mary Anne D. is offline Newbie
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    In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    In working with my fourth grader, we came across a sentence which says, "Five balloons all popped at once." He is supposed to find the nouns in the sentence. He found the word "balloon" correctly, but also discovered the word "once" as a possibility.

    I, too, am a bit confused, as I see in the dictionary that "once" can serve in several capacities (noun, adverb, adjective, conjunction) and that "at once" was listed as a phrase used in the noun capacity. However, it seems to be working as an adverb in the above sentence. Refresh me, please!

    Is "once" a noun or not in the above capacity?

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    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    The two-word expression 'at once' functions adverbially.

    In which dictionary did you see that "at once was listed as a phrase used in the noun capacity"?

  3. #3
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    bhaisahab is online now Moderator
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    Re: In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    The two-word expression 'at once' functions adverbially.

    In which dictionary did you see that "at once was listed as a phrase used in the noun capacity"?
    I agree, it's an adverb of time.

  4. #4
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    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Re: In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    In which dictionary did you see that "at once was listed as a phrase used in the noun capacity"?
    It's not the phrase at once itself; rather, the once in the phrase. Macmillan says that once is a noun in such a case.

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    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    It's not the phrase at once itself; rather, the once in the phrase. Macmillan says that once is a noun in such a case.
    I don't possess a Macmillan. I'd be grateful if you could copy the entry for me - I'd be interested to see what they actually say about this.

    Thanks.

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    Smile Re: In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I don't possess a Macmillan. I'd be grateful if you could copy the entry for me - I'd be interested to see what they actually say about this.

    Thanks.
    Here you are, sir

  7. #7
    Mary Anne D. is offline Newbie
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    Re: In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    It was entry number 3 of the word "once", used as a noun, in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, USA, copyright 1979

    3 once (noun): one single time: one time at least --- at once 1: at the same time: SIMULTANEOUSLY 2: IMMEDIATELY 3: 3Both

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    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Re: In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Anne D. View Post
    It was entry number 3 of the word "once", used as a noun, in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, USA, copyright 1979

    3 once (noun): one single time: one time at least --- at once 1: at the same time: SIMULTANEOUSLY 2: IMMEDIATELY 3: 3Both
    I think if you look at the formatting of that entry:

    2once
    noun
    : one single time : one time at least <please be on time this once>
    at once
    1
    : at the same time : simultaneously

    2
    : immediately

    3
    : 2both <at once funny and sad>




    The 1,2,3 are different meanings of "at once" where "once" is a noun
    Last edited by freezeframe; 30-Mar-2011 at 22:14. Reason: Formatting is my archnemesis.

  9. #9
    Mary Anne D. is offline Newbie
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    Re: In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    So I think that "once" can be an adverb and a noun -- at once!

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    Buddhaheart is offline Member
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    Re: In what capacity is the word "once" used here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Anne D. View Post
    In working with my fourth grader, we came across a sentence which says, "Five balloons all popped at once." He is supposed to find the nouns in the sentence. He found the word "balloon" correctly, but also discovered the word "once" as a possibility.

    I, too, am a bit confused, as I see in the dictionary that "once" can serve in several capacities (noun, adverb, adjective, conjunction) and that "at once" was listed as a phrase used in the noun capacity. However, it seems to be working as an adverb in the above sentence. Refresh me, please!

    Is "once" a noun or not in the above capacity?
    I think it depends on the rule of the game. If I look at it word by word, I might even add “all” & “five” to your list of supposedly nouns.

    Grammatically, “once”, “five” and “all” cannot function as nouns in this sentence. The only noun is “balloons” in its plural form. “At once” or “all at once” functions as an adverb phrase of manner modifying the verb “popped”; “Five” may be thought of as an adjective qualifying the noun “balloons”.

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