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This is a two-part question:

Part one: What's the difference between these two sentences below.

  • Where are you going for holiday.

  • Where are you going on holiday.

What exactly does 'On' and 'For' mean in the context above, and what is the difference in their implications? In addition, if I want to use the preposition 'for' do I have to put a pronoun/article after it for the construction to be grammatically correct? E.g. Where are you going for YOUR holiday?/ I went to Italy for A holiday.

Part two: Is the sentence 'Tell me a good place for holiday' correct? Is so, why isn't it as common as 'Tell me a good place to go on holiday'? If it isn't correct, can I change it to 'Tell me a good place for A holiday' or 'Tell me a good place for holidaying'?

Many thanks in advance.

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3 Answers 3

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Where're you going for your holiday(s)?

Where're you going on vacation/holiday?

You normally use the preposition "on", but the use of the "for" isn't ungrammatical.

As for the sentence "Tell me a good place to go on holiday", there's nothing with it grammatically.

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  • Thanks for your answer. What does 'ON' actually mean in 'go on holiday'. For example there are two way of interpreting ' Where to - GO ON HOLIDAY' (meaning taking a holiday) or ' Where to go - ON HOLIDAY' (meaning at the time of holiday or when holiday comes around). Basically, where do I place the emphasis? (- indicating pause)
    – JUNCINATOR
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 23:08
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"On" and "for" in this case have mostly interchangeable meaning. Or, at least, the difference is small enough to be difficult to distinguish for a native speaker. I believe they would be dialectical choices more than ones related to meaning.

The sentence "tell me a good place for holiday" is perfectly understandable, but might sound a bit unusual to American English speakers. American English tends to treat "holiday" as a noun whereas others seem to treat it as a verb. "...to go on A holiday" would feel more natural to American English. "...holidayING" on "...ON holiday" I believe would be more of a UK/Australian use of the word.

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In British English, on holiday should be treated as an idiom: it doesn't take an article, it can't be plural, and you can't substitute a different preposition:

Where are you going on holiday to?

I'm on holiday next week.

Apart from that idiom, you need an article or determiner:

When are you taking your holiday?

After my holiday.

I heed a holiday.

I believe that the Americans use vacation in the same ways, though I'm not sure.

But in BrE we sometimes use the plural, especially with a personal pronoun. I can't detect any particular different meaning in doing so:

When I got back from my holidays ..

He's on his holidays. (but not He's on holidays)

So this answers your part 2 as well: _a good place for ... holiday _ isn't the idiom, so requires an article or determiner.

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