I saw a sign that read

Closed on eve of and public holidays (1)

which obviously meant

Closed on eve of public holidays and public holidays (2)

This made me wonder if (1) is grammatical. If not, what is a nice way of expressing the intended idea that is shorter than (2)?

  • 1
    Closed on the eve of, and on, public holidays. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 23 '19 at 20:02
  • 2
    It's a sign. They don't have to be grammatical. – marcellothearcane Aug 23 '19 at 20:27

I would distribute the "on" to both sides of "and", when expanding. As such, it would expand as:

Closed on eve of public holidays and on public holidays.

...which is perfectly grammatical.

I won't argue that the initial construct isn't annoying, though. It might better be worded:

Closed on public holidays and the eve thereof.

But, clear as that is, it sounds a bit hoidy-toidy. Maybe this:

Closed on public holidays and the day before.

I don't know.

It might be easier to just be specific as the holiday is approaching:

Closed Christmas eve. Re-opening Boxing Day.


Closed on eve of and during public holidays.

As in:


Russian forces have been arranging provocations to be staged on the eve of and during the Unification Assembly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine that is scheduled for December 15 in Kyiv.

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