[Grammar] ‘at spring break’ VS ‘on summer vacation’

northpath

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Is it true, that when I speak about a vacation, I have to use the preposition on
‘They're on vacation for the next two weeks.’.
But when I speak of a break (short vacation), I have to use the preposition at
‘What are you going to do at spring break?’
 

bhaisahab

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I'd use 'during' for the second example.
 

jutfrank

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Generally, we use:


  • to be on vacation
  • to be on a break
So yes, They're on vacation. is correct. But your second sentence is not comparable. In

What are you going to do at spring break?

the preposition is correct. Here, you are conceiving spring break as being a point in time, perhaps in relation to the year as a whole, or maybe in relation to a university semester.

You may use other prepositions, but (as always!) this depends on what you mean, how you concieive the timeframe, and how you want to relate the action to the timeframe.

on spring break
at spring break
during spring break
for spring break

These are all possible but have different uses.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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I'd say on vacation and on spring break. Neither is a place, so at doesn't make sense.

Likewise, I'd say on sabbatical, on holiday, on leave, on furlough, on a trip, on a cruise, and so on.
 

Tdol

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I would use on not at with break, even a coffee or lunch break.
 
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