Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Nov 2011
    • Posts: 488
    #1

    holiday

    Could you tell me the difference between holiday and holidays? When do we use either? Please explain it with some examples.
    And what is vacation? Is it the American word for holiday(s)?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,620
    #2

    Re: holiday

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    Could you tell me the difference between holiday and holidays? When do we use either? Please explain it with some examples.
    And what is vacation? Is it the American word for holiday(s)?
    How would you use them?

  2. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Netherlands

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 1,458
    #3

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #4

    Re: holiday

    In America, "holidays" are publicly recognized/celebrated days. On important holidays, people are usually off from work. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day are major holidays.

    A "vacation" is personal time taken from work. I get 12 holidays a year (where the entire office is closed) and 15 vacation days. The number of vacation days varies according to the company you work for and how much seniority you have.

    "Vacation" also refers to the act of traveling to some destination for fun. I took the family to Florida this year for vacation.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,843
    #5

    Re: holiday

    And here is the BrE explanation:

    A holiday (noun) is a time when you travel away from home for rest and relaxation, either in your own country or abroad, alone or with family and friends. Holidays is the plural.

    I have booked a holiday to Italy in August with my boyfriend.
    How many holidays are you going on this year?!
    Only two. We went to France on holiday in March and then it's Italy in August.

    A national holiday (what Dave referred to as recognised/celebrated days) is called a "Bank Holiday". Normally they fall on a Monday but over Christmas and Easter they can be other days of the week.

    The two-week (approximate) period over Christmas is sometimes referred to as "the Christmas Holiday" or the "Christmas and New Year Holiday" because most people take leave from their job over that time.

    The periods when children don't have to attend school are referred to as the school holidays. The Easter holiday is normally about 10 days long, the summer holiday is about six weeks long and the Christmas holiday is about two weeks.

    We don't use the word "vacation".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,486
    #6

    Re: holiday

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    Could you tell me the difference between holiday and holidays?
    See also the Similar Threads below.

    Rover

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #7

    Re: holiday

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    And here is the BrE explanation:

    A holiday (noun) is a time when you travel away from home for rest and relaxation, either in your own country or abroad, alone or with family and friends. Holidays is the plural.

    I have booked a holiday to Italy in August with my boyfriend.
    How many holidays are you going on this year?!
    Only two. We went to France on holiday in March and then it's Italy in August.

    A national holiday (what Dave referred to as recognised/celebrated days) is called a "Bank Holiday". Normally they fall on a Monday but over Christmas and Easter they can be other days of the week.

    The two-week (approximate) period over Christmas is sometimes referred to as "the Christmas Holiday" or the "Christmas and New Year Holiday" because most people take leave from their job over that time.

    The periods when children don't have to attend school are referred to as the school holidays. The Easter holiday is normally about 10 days long, the summer holiday is about six weeks long and the Christmas holiday is about two weeks.

    We don't use the word "vacation".
    What do you call it when you take days off from work, but don't travel anywhere? I can be "on vacation" from work, but just stay at home.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,843
    #8

    Re: holiday

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    What do you call it when you take days off from work, but don't travel anywhere? I can be "on vacation" from work, but just stay at home.
    You're on leave. We get a certain number of days' leave at our job. When we take a day, we take a day's leave. We are on leave [from work].

    - Where's John today?
    - He's on leave.
    - Oh. Is he on holiday?
    - No. He just took one day off to decorate his kitchen.

    Line 2 of the dialogue shows that he has taken annual leave but it doesn't specify how much. Line 3 questions whether he has gone away somewhere on his leave. However, line 4 then explains that he has not taken leave to go on holiday, simply to do some DIY.

    Really, it's no surprise that learners get confused over this. I take leave to go on holiday. You take holiday to go on vacation.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Nov 2010
    • Posts: 2,013
    #9

    Re: holiday

    In Aust/NZ the usage is similar to BrE as posted by emsr2d2, but a few differences come to mind.
    An official single day off work and school (Anzac Day, Australia Day etc) is called a public holiday. Anything involving multiple days is normally referred to in the plural: Christmas Holidays, Easter Holidays, the school holidays.
    We can have a holiday without leaving home.
    a) So you took last week off work?
    b) Yep, I felt like a holiday.
    a) What did you get up to?
    b) I played with the dog, worked in the garden, took it easy.

    I don't think I've ever heard "vacation" in general conversation, but it does crop up in advertising, corporate brochures etc.

    not a teacher

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] a two-week holiday or a two weeks' holiday
    By lovecindy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 29-Sep-2011, 08:27
  2. [Grammar] What does it mean 'on holiday'?
    By Heidi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 21-Oct-2010, 08:35
  3. [Grammar] has been on holiday, still on holiday now?
    By Heidi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 19-Jun-2010, 07:23
  4. a two-week's holiday / a two-week holiday
    By demir in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Sep-2008, 20:53

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •