A leap year falls once every four years.

A leap year falls once every fourth year.

Which one is more common? Are there different meanings between these two sentences?

  • 2
    Both are grammatically correct, but the first—*every four years*)—is by far the most common usage. May 12, 2016 at 15:32
  • @Giambattista is correct; use "every four years". Logically speaking, when someone says "every fourth year", that implies that the loop is nested. Going with the former is much simpler.
    – Othya
    May 12, 2016 at 18:32
  • 1
    I would say that the second is slightly awkward and would say instead "A leap year falls/comes every forth year" with the once being implied. May 12, 2016 at 21:20
  • Technically speaking, of course, neither is true of the Gregorian calendar, as years that are exactly divisible by 100 are not leap years except those which are also divisible by 400.
    – choster
    Jul 18, 2016 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


They are both grammatically correct, but the second one sounds more literary and formal. The first (A leap year falls one every four years) sounds most correct and common.

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