Is it okay to say "once, on one [name of day of the week]" or does it sound rather unnatural?

For example:

Once, on one Monday, when the homeroom teacher was not in the class, she got on the desk and started signing.

If it's unnatural, than what would be the idiomatic way of expressing some happening in the past that happened at one particular point in time in the past during one particular day of the week?

2 Answers 2


"Once, on one Monday" doesn't sound particularly natural to me. I would say either "Once, on a Monday" or "Once, one Monday".

Something like "Once, on one particularly dreary Monday" would sound better, although even there I would probably prefer to either omit "on" or change "one" into "a".

I think "Once, on one Monday" might work in speech if you were emphasising the word "one", but I don't think it works as well in writing, particularly in the context of your sentence.

  • What's wrong with simply 'One Monday'? It seems to me redundant to use both once and one. Apr 27, 2021 at 8:46
  • There's certainly nothing wrong with simply "One Monday". The arguably redundant version is neither ungrammatical nor unidiomatic, though. I suppose, strictly speaking, it isn't even redundant - you could say that something had happened on several Tuesdays, and one Monday, the same thing occurred.
    – rjpond
    Apr 27, 2021 at 8:59

It's OK, although many native speakers might say 'Once, on a Monday...". Also, it is completely normal to say that she 'got, climbed, or stood on the desk'.

  • Is "she got ON the desk..." correct in grammatical relation, regarding this pattern?
    – Eugene
    Apr 27, 2021 at 7:18
  • @Eugene - see edited answer. Apr 27, 2021 at 7:31
  • Thank you. The point I didn't take in was that "she got on the desk and started siGNing". I would rather arrive at the idea that "she got ONTO the desk and started signing", i.e. "she attacked the desk (pounced on the desk) with her scribbling her name (or smth.) on it"? Or she may have stood on the desk and started making signs? Or she started to sign in the language of the deaf? Or maybe she started siNGing a song (could it be just slip of pen in the question?) What is it about in the pattern, in your oppinion?
    – Eugene
    Apr 27, 2021 at 13:24
  • You can get on a desk, climb on a desk, you can use 'onto' instead of 'on' if you want to. I don't know if 'signing' is a typo or not. If someone starts signing then that usually means they start using sign language (e.g. for deaf people). Apr 27, 2021 at 14:29
  • @ Michael Harvey Thank you.
    – Eugene
    Apr 27, 2021 at 15:47

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