Vacation In British English

I am writing this post to help other English learners understand vacation in British English. I have learned a lot over the years, but I’m sure not an expert. I did my best to make this very simple to understand. If you have any questions or comments, then comment below and we’ll talk. Happy learning!

When you are traveling outside your home country, it can be difficult to remember how to spell words and use certain phrases in the English language as a non-native speaker. One of the controversial issues with slang that is often brought up is where people say vacation according to its definition and how this is different than holiday. The reason why holiday and vacation are used incorrectly by native English speakers and why they are always two separate words is the difference between the UK English (British English) and US English (American English).

Vacation is an English word borrowed from the Old French term vacacion, which comes from Latin vacatio, a noun of action from the verb vacare. C Vacation also known as a holiday, a trip or a leave of absence (from work) is a recreational journey that usually involves travel away from home. Vacations are often spent with family or friends, although they can also be spent travelling alone or with other travellers. People often take vacations during specific holidays or events.

Vacation In British English

People often say: “I’m taking a vacation”, but what do they really mean? There are two different ways you can take a vacation – by going on holiday or taking time off from work. Watch this video to find out the differences and hear the British English words for these two types of vacation.

The 2016 Olympic games is the first time that Britain has hosted the event since 1948 and nine decades separate the two. This means that today’s Brits have had very little experience when it comes to hosting such an event, and unfortunately, there is also a chance that they do not know how to use British spellings as much as their “Americanized” counterparts.

What is the difference between holiday and vacation?


In British English, you refer to a period of time that you are allowed to spend away from work or school as the holiday or the holidays.

The school had undergone repairs during the holiday.

One day after the Christmas holidays I rang her up.

You refer to a period of time spent away from home enjoying yourself as a holiday.

He thought that Vita needed a holiday.

I went to Marrakesh for a holiday.

When you spend a long period of time like this each year, you refer to it as your holidays.

Where are you going for your holidays?

 Be Careful! You usually use a determiner or a possessive in front of holiday or holidays. Don’t say, for example, `I went to Marrakesh for holidays.’

If you are on holiday, you are spending a period of time away from work or school, or you are spending some time away from home enjoying yourself.

Remember to turn off the gas when you go on holiday.

In American English, a holiday is a single day or group of days when people do not work, often to commemorate an important event.

In British English, a day like this is called a bank holiday or a public holiday.

When Americans talk about the holidays, they mean the period at the end of the year that includes Christmas and the New Year; sometimes Thanksgiving (at the end of November) is also included in this.

Now that the holidays are over, we should take down our Christmas tree.


The usual American word for a longer period of time spent away from work or school, or for a period of time spent away from home enjoying yourself, is vacation.

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