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Quick help with American English please

  1. Spacey Gracey profile image75
    Spacey Graceyposted 6 years ago

    I want to say 'during the school holidays' - as in when school is out, the kids are home, they are driving you nuts.

    In American English would you say 'during school vacation', 'school break', 'when school is out', or just plain old 'school holidays'.

    Thanks

  2. lrohner profile image85
    lrohnerposted 6 years ago

    It's usually referred to as the "summer break" or "summer vacation." The word "holidays" here is only used to describe just that--holidays, like Christmas, Easter, etc., and is not used to describe time off from school. For other times off, it's usually referred to as "break" (as in 'spring break') or "vacation" (as in 'Christmas vacation').

  3. Spacey Gracey profile image75
    Spacey Graceyposted 6 years ago

    Thanks Irohner - so to collectively refer to all the times when the schools are shut could I say 'school breaks'.

    1. lrohner profile image85
      lrohnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, if (as Rafini pointed out) it's more than just a long weekend. A "school break" is usually a week or more. Everything else is just that--a "long weekend", "in-service day", "day off" or a multitude of other terms.

      I'm in the northeast, and we still use "Christmas vacation" or "Christmas break." We never had an "Easter vacation" to begin with. And many, many schools here have a Christmas vacation (two weeks maybe?), winter break in Feb. and spring break in April/May.

      1. Rafini profile image87
        Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Interesting!  I thought with the whole separation of Church & State all vacations had to be non-religious - nationwide!   I still can't call it winter break, just doesn't sit well with me. lol

  4. Rafini profile image87
    Rafiniposted 6 years ago

    How you refer to schools being out depends on the situation you're referring to.  hmm 

    Holidays - Christian Holidays are no longer referred to.  Christmas Vacation is now winter break.  Easter Vacation is now spring break.  Thanksgiving is still Thanksgiving because it's a federal holiday, not a religious one.

    Schools close for educational conventions that teachers are required to attend and for what is called 'inservice days'. (days for teachers to go to work but students get the day off)

    In general, I've heard 'when school wasn't in session' or 'no school that day' type of reference.  Longer periods of time are a vacation, and a day or two are just a day off school.

    Hope this makes sense and helps. smile

  5. Spacey Gracey profile image75
    Spacey Graceyposted 6 years ago

    Thanks - it is always the little terms I struggle with.

    1. Diane Inside profile image86
      Diane Insideposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Everybody explained it very well. I just want to say, I'm glad you asked.  I see so many who just butcher the American English language, and never bother to learn it properly. It's not a big deal, but It makes for a much nicer read when it is in a form that we are accustomed too. So thanks for taking the time to use proper terms, that means alot. And I admire you for learning a second language. I have not, and sometimes I think I would like to, but which one, english seems to be more universal now, but it would be nice to know a second language.

      1. Diane Inside profile image86
        Diane Insideposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        oh sorry I just realized English is your first language, just not American English, It's amazing how one language can be changed so much once divided by an ocean and a couple hundred years huh. Again sorry.

  6. iantoPF profile image85
    iantoPFposted 6 years ago

    Hi Gracey; I just wanted to add my experience. As an ex-pat' who has lived in America for over 20 years I consider myself bi-lingual. But the way words are used here still trips me up from time to time. The English speaking world generally refers to a special day as "Christmas day" or Boxing day" or whatever, here these are called "Holidays" What we call "Holidays" in America are called "Vacations" Allow me to go on;
    What we call a Flat, Americans call an Appartment, What Americans call a Flat, we call a Puncture. The list goes on and sometimes I forget where I am. We have a pet, "India" she's, what in America they call a "female dog" which as we know is a total contradiction in terms, but apparently "Bitch" is taboo. When I use it Americans are shocked because they've never heard it used towards an animal. Anyway, the other night I heard a noise in the back garden (That's "Back yard" for American readers) I let her out and there were two Raccons there. She threw a wobbler (went nuts) and attacked them. So I was shouting "get back here bitch" My poor wife was cringing she was sure the neighbours were thinking I was shouting at her. My teenage sons have told me they do not want me patting India's head and affectionally calling her a "Silly bitch" in front of their friends.
    Life in America is fraught with danger for the English speaking community.

    1. Diane Inside profile image86
      Diane Insideposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      just curious what is Boxing Day.

    2. Rafini profile image87
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I wouldn't say 'bitch' is taboo, more like inappropriate - due to the American Sensitivity to name calling.  hmm  However, dog breeders still use the term.

  7. Teresa McGurk profile image60
    Teresa McGurkposted 6 years ago

    Holidays - Christian Holidays are no longer referred to.  Christmas Vacation is now winter break.  Easter Vacation is now spring break.  Thanksgiving is still Thanksgiving because it's a federal holiday, not a religious one.

    Good points from Rafini; likewise, however, teachers are no longer referred to as teachers, but as indentured servants. School is now known as Federal Day Care.  Summer is officially still Summer, you'll be relieved to know; Fall, however, is now Internment Period, Computers are Notebooks, pencils are obsolete, and Detention is pointless.

    Hope this helps,
    T.

    1. habee profile image90
      habeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      And the teachers are always responsible!

      A kid has low self-esteem? Teacher's fault.

      A kid fails a class? Blame it on the teacher.

      A kid doesn't learn - regardless of the fact that he seldom attends school? Again, the teacher is to blame.

      1. Rafini profile image87
        Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        omg!  make up my mind, would ya??  I thought it was all the mothers fault!  lol

  8. Spacey Gracey profile image75
    Spacey Graceyposted 6 years ago

    If I had the time I would write a story with all the double-meanings. I remember on my first trip to Florida, seeing everywhere advertising 'chicken and a biscuit' - an English biscuit is what we dunk in tea - like a cookie but less sugar. Chicken and a biscuit did not sound tasty at all.

 
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