'On Holiday', 'On a Holiday', or 'For a Holiday'

In British English, you can use the expression “on holiday” to mention a period of time away from school or work. This is the equivalent of the American “on vacation”.

In British English, you can use the expression “on holiday” to mention a period of time away from school or work. This is the equivalent of the American “on vacation”.

Gabriella is away on holiday for the next three weeks.

Sometimes we use the article “a” or other determiner to be more specific—for example, to mention a particular trip or activity during our holiday.

Last summer we went on a holiday to Thailand.

The phrase “for a holiday” requires the article “a” or another determiner (my, your, his, this, etc.) in front of the noun.

This is a perfect choice for a holiday.

I’m going to Italy for my holiday.

1. ‘On holiday’ vs. ‘On a holiday’

In British English, “on holiday” or “on a holiday” refers to a period in which a break is taken from work or school for recreation, relax, or travel. Americans use the expression “on vacation” in the same way.

I’m going on a holiday to Spain.

You can also use it to mention that someone is not at work.

Is Alice in the office this morning? No, she is on holiday this week.

We normally say “on holiday” (without "a") to imply that we are just having a holiday period.

John is on holiday.

You can also introduce the article “a” to give more details or highlight something specific about your holiday.

Last summer we went on a holiday to China.

While both expressions, “on holiday” and “on a holiday”, are similar and often interchangeable, you need a determiner when using an adjective.

We went on an all-inclusive holiday.

You can go to Europe and have a successful holiday with your wife.

In some situations, you can use a possessive pronoun instead of an article.

I’m looking forward to my holiday.

2. The Expression 'For a holiday'

We can use the phrase “for a holiday” to express why we do something. This expression always needs a determiner, typically the article “a” or a possessive pronoun (my, your, his, her, our, or their)

I went to Paris for a holiday.

I need to save money for my holiday.

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