Student or Learner
Even after a couple of online searches I'm still unable to decide which preposition to use with Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Should I say:
We have a party on Halloween. OR: Have a party at Halloween.
We eat turkey on Thanksgiving. OR: We eat turkey at Thanksgiving.
Thank you for your help,
In BrE it's, "at Halloween" (we don't have Thanksgiving).
Last edited by bhaisahab; 01-Nov-2011 at 14:44.
This one is a pretty clear AmE vs BrE difference.
We eat turkey at Christmas. (BrE)
I don't like the fact that the pubs are all full at New Year. (BrE)
The shops are very busy during the holidays. (BrE)
The beach is packed with people at weekends. (BrE)
We eat turkey on Thanksgiving. (AmE)
The bars will all be full on New Year's. (AmE)
I visit my family on the holidays. (AmE)
There are a lot of people in Central Park on the weekends. (AmE)
Not as clear as you'd think.
Only "at weekends" in your BrE list sounds "wrong" to my American ears. During is always fine to mean a period that extends more than one day, and the "at" also sounds fine in the first two. Especially when we say something like "at Christmas time" to refer to the days surrounding Christmas.
However when you want to refer to that exact DAY, we use "on."
- We go trick-or-treating ON Halloween
- We stayed home ON Christmas Day (tired out from all the visiting we do at Christmas time).
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
I'll stick to what I know about BrE:
We eat turkey on Christmas Day.
We buy presents at Christmas.
We go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve.
More people go to church at Christmas.
Many people go to church on Christmas Day.
We carve pumpkins at Hallowe'en.
What do you usually do at Easter?
The Easter Bunny delivers chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday.
As you can see, we generally use "on" when talking about one particular day, and "at" when talking about a time of year. However, if we're talking about a "holiday period" then we usually use "during" or "for".
I'm going away for Christmas = I'm going somewhere away from home over the Christmas period.
I'm going to my parents' for Easter = I'm going to visit my parents over the four-day Easter weekend.