I’m kind of new to this forum, so I hope I won’t do any mistake.
I have to do a literary translation into French of an extract of Clea by Lawrence Durrell for tomorrow and there is a sentence of which grammar I don’t really understand.
“Familiar”, yes! For once one had left the semi-circle of the harbour nothing had changed whatsoever."
I do understand that, since he’s left Alexandria, the city hasn’t changed a bit, but what I do not understand is that use of “once”. At first I linked it to “For”, but it didn’t make any sense when I read the rest of the sentence. So I settled with “For” being an equivalent of because and “once” of since, but I still don’t get why Durrell would use “once” here. It doesn’t even seems grammatically correct but I figure the man knew how to write, with him being a well-know, respected author and all. Plus I’m not a native English speaker, so what do I know?
Anyway, I was kind of hoping someone could enlighten me on this particular topic, so if you know something about this type of use of “once” please let me know!