Are you wondering which phrase is correct to use, ‘on holiday’ or ‘on a holiday’? We’ll help you make the right choice, plus teach you how to pronounce them and use them in a sentence correctly.
Need a quick answer? Here it is:
If you replace ‘holiday’ with ‘vacation,' does it still makes sense? If not, you're likely using it wrong.
They both mean the same thing.
But since they don’t sound the same, they don’t qualify as homophones.
We’ve already ruled out that ‘for a holiday’ would be incorrect and ungrammatical.
But what about ‘on a holiday’?
Well, technically, that’s incorrect as well.
Remember, we said that ‘holiday’ is meant to replace ‘vacation.’
So, would it make sense to say, “I’m going on a vacation?”
Okay, it would.
But that’s not the correct way people use the term ‘holiday.’ Therefore, you should avoid using ‘on a holiday’ and opt instead for ‘on holiday.’
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘on holiday’ is:
It’s considered an idiom, which is a word or phrase in the English language that doesn’t have a literal meaning. It typically means something other than the literal definition of the word.
Other idioms include bite the bullet (get something over with because it’s inevitable) and break a leg (good luck).
Are you unsure of how to pronounce this phrase? Here’s a short guide.
To pronounce this phrase correctly, check out the phonetic spelling:
Since we know what the phrase means now and how to pronounce it, let’s see how to use it in a sentence correctly.
To recap, we learned that:
Replace ‘holiday’ with ‘vacation’ and see if it still makes sense. If so, you're likely correct.
If you ever get stuck on anything, you can always come back to review what you learned. We’ve got a ton of content on confusing words and phrases you might come across while learning the English language. Feel free to pop back over anytime you need to.