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?

  • 2
    I only ever say 'once and for all'. – Peter Jul 3 '14 at 23:43
  • 1
    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
  • @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

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"


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".


OK, this thread is four and a half years old but I will put in my answer. "Once for all" is found in the New Testament in several places, whether you are looking in the King James dating back to 1611 or modern translations: Romans 6:10, Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 10:2, 10:10 and Jude 1:3. It always means one time for all people. Christ died once for all. Of course, there is finality in what he did. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)

  • This doesn't answer the question, which was whether both forms are acceptable. You've simply provided a personal opinion on a possible etymology (though unsupported by any evidence). Note, this site is different from others: it's not a forum (where you find "threads"), it's a Q&A site. An answer on EL&U is expected to be authoritative, detailed, and explain why it is correct. For further guidance, see How to Answer and take the EL&U Tour :-) – Chappo Says Reinstate Monica Dec 28 '18 at 12:10

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