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In below sentence it's mentioned "on two weeks":

They'll quite happily squander a whole year's savings on two weeks in the sun.

whereas so far I learned to speak in this way:

They'll quite happily squander a whole year's savings in two weeks in the sun.

I want to know which one is correct. In my opinion "in two weeks" means within two weeks which seems more likely correct.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Which is correct depends on what is meant.

"They'll quite happily squander a whole year's savings on two weeks in the sun" means they will squander the year's savings by spending it on a holiday; a package deal, perhaps, or an expensive hotel.

"They'll quite happily squander a whole year's savings in two weeks in the sun" means that they will squander the year's savings during the two-week period; on gambling, perhaps, or some other pleasure, and for some reason the sunniness is relevant (heat affecting the brain, perhaps?).

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Brian, I give you bunch of thanks for explaining the concept in such a manner which was easy for me to grasp. I'm also grateful to all the users who posted the answer, comments it was all helpful for me to understand it. Hmm, could anyone please post 4-5 practical sentences using word squander which you speak in day to day life? –  Sam Feb 27 '13 at 2:54

In this case, "on" is correct. You can squander something of value. And you can squander something of value on something of lesser value.

All of these are correct:

I'll spend $10 on a car.
I'll squander $1,000 on a broken down car.
I'll squander $10 on two weeks in the sun.
I'll happily squander a whole year's savings on two weeks in the sun.

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I'm trying to understand but I'm afraid I couldn't and I figured out what's the reason. I understand these two sentences :- I'll spend $10 on a car. I'll squander $1,000 on a broken down car. whereas I don't understand when we say "on two weeks in the sun" Could you tell me what does it mean "in the sun" (in this context)? Does it mean something related to beach, I've never been to beach nor I've seen how does it look like that's why not understanding these sentences :- I'll squander $10 on two weeks in the sun. I'll happily squander a whole year's savings on two weeks in the sun. –  Sam Feb 25 '13 at 7:33
    
It's hard to be sure without more context, but "two weeks in the sun" most likely means a two-week vacation spent outdoors such as on beaches. –  David Schwartz Feb 25 '13 at 7:35
    
"in the sun" complements "two weeks", it is one nominal phrase and yes, in the sun means spending two weeks in a sunny environment. The preposition complements the whole nominal phrase. "squander [...] savings on two weeks in the sun" means spending money on two weeks time (which will be spent in the sun) "squander [...] savings in two weeks in the sun" means spending money in two weeks (which will happen in a sunny place). the second sentence isn't very grammatically correct, unless you means you will spend your money while being in the sun. –  Lson Feb 25 '13 at 10:02
    
I have squandered my resistance for a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises. –  RegDwigнt Feb 26 '13 at 10:25

Two weeks in the sun means going away, probably somewhere foreign, for a holiday. It typically costs for travel and accommodation, so it certainly something that you could spend ("squander") money on.

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