English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I don't want to see you again! It's over, once (and) for all.

Are both forms acceptable? Is one of them old-fashioned?

share|improve this question
I only ever say 'once and for all'. – Peter Jul 3 '14 at 23:43
Please do not put a space before punctuation like ? in English. It does not look right to us; it looks French. – tchrist Jul 4 '14 at 0:50
@tchrist I thought it was the right way. Thanks. – Centaurus Jul 4 '14 at 1:03
@Luis It is a difference between French and English. I’d have to think a bit to decide whether it applies to Portuguese or Spanish, or dig up some books from the basement to see how it gets used there. – tchrist Jul 4 '14 at 1:06
Most people here do it the way you do, with no space. I'm an exception, I guess. – Centaurus Jul 4 '14 at 1:08
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Ngram shows a wider usage of once and for all and very little usage of once for all.

Once and for all:

Adv. once and for all - in a conclusive way; "we settled the problem conclusively"

share|improve this answer

Once for all is now old fashioned, once and for all being standard. The Oxford English Dictionary from ca. thirty years ago says "once for all, now usually once and for all".

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.