a one-off: meaning and explanation
If something is a one-off, then it happens once and is not repeated.
This is expression is often used when hoping that something bad will not happen again.
e.g. We had a power cut last night. Luckily we had loads of candles or it would have been a nightmare. Hopefully it was just a one-off.
One-off can be combined with a noun to mean that it will not happen repeatedly or regularly, e.g. a one-off event, a one-off trip, a one-off thing, etc.
e.g. Due to unexpectedly good results this financial year, all employees will receive a one-off bonus at the end of the month.
A person can also be described as a one-off to say that they are unique (usually in a positive way).
e.g. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone quite like him – he’s a real one-off.
Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?
About the sentence
…I can’t see it happening again…
The phrase I can’t see something happening/somebody doing something is a good way to say that you think something is very unlikely or impossible.
e.g. I like your idea, but I can’t see your mum agreeing to it.
Accent: England (RP)
Accent: North America
Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:
- Can you think of anything that happened to you which was hopefully just a one-off?
- Do you know anyone who you would describe as a one-off?