American English

Definition of one pronoun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1used to avoid repeating a noun, when you are referring to someone or something that has already been mentioned, or that the person you are speaking to knows about I'd like an ice-cream cone. Are you having one, too? Our car's always breaking down. But we're getting a new one soon. She was wearing her new dress, the red one. My favorite band? Oh, that's a hard one (= a hard question). What made you choose the one rather than the other?
  2. 2used when you are identifying the person or thing you are talking about Our house is the one next to the school. The students who are most successful are usually the ones who come to all the classes.
  3. 3one of a person or thing belonging to a particular group It's a present for one of my children. We think of you as one of the family.
  4. 4a person of the type mentioned 10 o'clock is too late for the little ones (= young children). He ached to be home with his loved ones. one to do something She was never one to criticize.
  5. 5(formal) used to mean “people in general” or “I,” when the speaker is referring to himself or herself One should never criticize if one is not sure of one's facts. One gets the impression that they disapprove. This use of one is very formal and now sounds old-fashioned. It is much more usual to use you for “people in general” and I when you are talking about yourself.
  6. 6the one about something the joke Have you heard the one about the pink elephant?
  7. Grammarone / onesOne/ones is used to avoid repeating a countable noun, but there are some times when you should not use it, especially in formal speech or writing:After a possessive (my, your, Mary’s, etc.), some, any, both, or a number, unless it is used with an adjective:“Did you get any postcards?” “Yes, I bought four nice ones.” I bought four ones. Yes, I bought four.It can be left out after superlatives, this, that, these, those, either, neither, another, which, etc:“Here are the designs. Which (one) do you prefer?” “I think that (one) looks the most original.”These ones and those ones are not used in formal English:Do you prefer these designs or those?It is never used to replace uncountable nouns and is unusual with abstract countable nouns:The American legal system is not the same as the Canadian system, is better than…as the Canadian one.Idioms
    be (a) one for (doing) something
    jump to other results
    to be a person who enjoys something, or who does something often or well I've never been a great one for camping.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: one