School dissertations typically revolve around a single idea.

School dissertations typically revolve around one single idea.

Should we use "a single" or "one single", and why?

  • 2
    Both 'a single' and 'one single' are correct and commonly used phrases in English. They are interchangeable and can be used to emphasize the singularity of an item or person. Apr 10 at 9:51
  • Well, go with the majority, then! Apr 10 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


Both examples are idiomatic, and both mean the same because the article in "a single idea" denotes one.

You could just say:

School dissertations typically revolve around an idea.

The word 'single' is added because it not only means one, but also not one of several, so it serves to emphasise that it is one and only one.

  • 3
    Repetion for emphasis? Father: can you give me one single, sole, solitary reason why I should pay for your car repairs? Son: You crashed it. Father: Er, OK. Apr 10 at 11:11

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