LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||31/MAI/2011 1:07 PM|
Generally, most of times you are "on vacation" (você está de férias).
Vacations is countable name, but you have one at a year (if any) ain´t it? Hence we saying "I am on vacation", "we were on vacation" referring to the time we are not working (I mean, people that have a job, or the time Universities, colleges are closed).
So, in general you are "on vacation" at a certain time of the year, e.g. at the summer season (if you can choose your vacation time...)
Let´s say you have not took a vacation last year, you are have two vacations to take this year. Many companes don´t allow this happen, you have to take your vacation in the year your work, even if you don´t have your leave in the more convenient time.
But vacation (Ame Eng.) means also, a holiday or time spent not working, in this sense
English speakers say that the French have many vacations (holidays)!
Some sentences taken from the Web and The Economist mag., some with slight changes:
"...I´ve always used my vacations time, never checked my emails. I am not afraid of losing my job by taking a holiday." (here certainly meaning holiday in the second sense.)
"I rarely took vacations, usually not more than one week at time."
"In my entire career of 32 years I took just one long overseas vacation of 1 month and was almost fired for doing that. ....Most Americans do not take vacations for two reasons: fear of losing their jobs or have little money after paying for services, housing, etc..."
Many a student that speak Spanish or Portuguese make confusion, because in their mother language (when taking a long rest after a year of working) they say it always in plural:
Estou de férias/vou sair de férias
Estoy en vacaciones
Salgo a vacaciones" and
Me voy de vacaciones.
In such case, in English speaking countries one says "I am on vacation", "I am going to take a vacation" etc.
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