I am wondering which one is correct.

  1. He goes to Switzerland during vacations.
  2. He goes to Switzerland during the vacations.

Also if you could tell me the reason, it would be perfect.

Any help would be highly appreciated.

Regards, Vaibhav

  • 1
    This is another case where context may well determine which choice an accomplished speaker might make. '[D]uring the vacations' might well be used to mean 'during the long vacation each year' (though 'during the summer break / holidays would normally be used in the UK); 'during vacations' might well be used to mean 'during most / all vacations'. Oct 5, 2014 at 11:24
  • 1
    They're both acceptable, and effectively mean the same, but in most contexts you'd use #1. Note that vacations always means multiple separate periods of time off work/school. If you'd used holidays, #2 could refer to a single holiday period (of consecutive days). Oct 5, 2014 at 11:28
  • @FF Yes, we tend to mass things up (though 'holidays' is rarely given a singular verb) a bit more over here. Are you happy with 'during the vacations' being used in the same way in the US as many would use 'during the holidays' (often meaning 'during the main summer holidays', but also deictically 'during the ___ holidays which are just over a week away'? – I'm fairly sure these usages are a carry-over from distant school practice.) Oct 5, 2014 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


During vacations => when you are referring to vacations in general During the vacations => when you are referring to any particular vacation/ type of vacation of yours which you are actively referring to in your context

  • This doesn't really work with 'He goes to Switzerland during the vacations' showing habitual practice. Oct 5, 2014 at 11:26
  • habitual practice is also what I mean when I say context, thanks for clarifying,
    – Sushant
    Oct 5, 2014 at 11:30

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