I am trying to figure out what is the most natural way of saying that I will be off for a few days:

I will be on a short leave from X to Y?

  • 1
    "I will be taking a short period of leave"? (But if you give the dates, you don't need to specify that it will be short - just "I will be on leave between X and Y"). Nov 22, 2021 at 15:34
  • I'm on leave is idiomatically natural, as is I'm on holiday or I'm at work. But none of them work very well if you try to introduce an adjective before the noun. I'm on short leave, I'm on summer holiday, I'm at hard work all sound terrible, even though the intended meaning is obvious. Nov 22, 2021 at 18:05
  • @FumbleFingers Thanks! But what about "He’s on a 3-week vacation."? That is from a workbook written by a native speaker,
    – John V
    Nov 30, 2021 at 11:33
  • 1
    There's no true consistency about the way articles and prepositions work in English, and sometimes there's positively maddening inconsistency! So I'm on a short holiday tomorrow doesn't sound at all good to me, even though I'm fine with He's [away] on a 3-day holiday in Scotland (or I'm taking a short holiday soon). Nov 30, 2021 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


"Leave" tends to have connotations about permission to be away. It's used in armed forces ("shore leave"), or in phrases like "leave of absence" that focus on whether you have been permitted to take time off and still be employed. If you're in a normal business context and are communicating to your colleagues rather than your supervisors, then "leave" isn't inappropriate, but there are other phrases that could communicate the important point, that you're not available for their interaction.

  • "I will be away from..."
  • "I'll be out of the office" (used these days even if you're in remote-work situation, in which you're not physically in an office even when you are working, to indicate time off)
  • or, as you used yourself in framing the question, simply "off": "I'll be off from..."
  • 2
    Leave would be perfectly appropriate in a business context in British English. Nov 23, 2021 at 8:38

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