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2 Qs: Is there any difference between Vacation and Holiday please? BTW, Could you help me with this sentence below? I can't wait for the summer holiday/holidays. Should I write Holiday as a plural or singular form in this sentence??
Feb 4, 2017 6:10 AM
Answers · 12
You have asked two questions, here, Ann. 1. Is there a difference between vacation and holiday? Yes, and the difference is mainly a regional one. As the American members have explained, 'holiday' is only used in the US to refer to public holidays of a day or so, in particular religious or commemorative occasions, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Longer periods, such as summer breaks from school, and private leisure trips, are called vacations. Outside of North America, the word 'vacation' is rarely used. 'Holiday' refers to all of the above. 2. Your sentence should read "I can't wait for the summer holidays." You should use the plural form, because this refers to the long break between summer and autumn school terms.
February 4, 2017
"Holiday" typically refers to specific religious or national days of recognition that may or may not result in days off from work or school. In the US we have holidays like Christmas, Martin Luther King day, Thanksgiving and Independence Day. These are days that have roots in religion, important times in our country's history, or notable people in our history. "Vacation" can be a couple things: One, it could be what you DO during a holiday such as Christmas. Students often will get a week or so off around this particular holiday and will "go on vacation" which implies they traveled somewhere during the holiday. Also vacation could just be scheduled time off (not due to any sort of holiday) which I think is the context you are referring to in your question. Students typically have an extended time off during the summer which is referred to as "summer vacation". So if I was to take a guess, I'd say that you're trying to say "I can't wait for summer vacation" Side note: More and more people have begun to use the word "holidays" (plural) or the "holiday season" as the period of time between Thanksgiving (late November) through the New Year. This is generally thought of as a way to be more inclusive to other religions besides Christianity who may celebrate holidays during this time such as Hanukkah. Or even simply for people who don't relate to any particular religion but enjoy spending time with their friends and family during this part of the year. In this instance you could say "I can't wait for the holidays/holiday season"
February 4, 2017
I can only speak for US English. When we use "holiday" in the US, we usually refer to an actual holiday...for example: Easter, Fourth of July, Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day... For example: "Are you traveling anywhere over the holiday weekend?" "Do you have family coming to town for the holiday?" "I'm looking forward to the holidays!" <-- maybe said in October, knowing that Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are approaching in the months ahead Otherwise, we use vacation: "I can't wait for summer vacation!" "I'm taking a vacation to Mexico next year!" Again, probably not formal English but if you're looking for a difference in countries, that's my contribution :) I will personally say "I'm going on holiday next week" just to sound fancy, but it's not common! "I'm going to holiday in Cape Cod for the summer" Amazing how a single language gets modified over time based on Geography. It's fascinating to me!
February 4, 2017
Also a "holiday" is a legal time off (US) or sanctioned by an authority as in a "public holiday"/ "company holiday". A "vacation" is a private affair.
February 4, 2017
In the US, a holiday is a day of celebration such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, etc. Holiday is normally singular but can be plural if you are talking about more than one holiday. We often refer to Christmas and New Year's as "the holidays" because they are close together and some other religious holidays such as Hanukkah are celebrated at this time. Vacation typically refers to other days off (no school/work) that are not holidays. The UK and other English-speaking countries use "holiday" or "holidays" where we would say "vacation". I'm not sure if the singular or plural of "holiday" is preferred by them. For your example, I would write: "I can't wait for summer vacation"
February 4, 2017
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