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Which preposition is more appropriate?

No decision has been made ____ where to go on our holiday yet.

Is it a) on or b) about?

This sentence is from an English language text book for Italian teenagers. The sentence cannot be modified.

Some websites tell me that a decision can be on or about, but I'm not entirely sure in the example above.

Longman Dictionary and Cambridge Dictionary suggest that either can be used

decision about/on

  • We finally came to a firm decision on the matter.
  • The decision about/on whether he is innocent or guilty rests with the jury.

Whereas Common Mistakes in Business English appears to give on the upper-hand.

“Decide on” is followed by a verb in the –ing form or a noun / noun phrase.

  • “We have decided on the purchase of our company’s competitor in Florida.”

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries appears to agree

We need a decision on this by next week

From the net I found examples of “decision about where”

  • You can’t make a decision about where to go to university?
  • Universities ask for varying amounts of points based on their entry requirements, so this will help you make a decision about where to apply.
  • Once you have received all of your offers and visited any institutions you are thinking about attending then it is time to make your decision about where you want to go.

and examples of “decision on where”

  • Helping Your Aged Parents Make A Decision On Where to Live
  • How can you make a decision on where to go? How much does it cost to study abroad, and what are the student visa requirements?
  • BIRMINGHAM, England, Oct 5 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said the British government would soon make a decision on where to build extra airport capacity in southeast England.

If both prepositions are acceptable is there a slight difference in meaning?
A decision is made after you have thought about it, so shouldn't "I'm thinking on where to go" be also grammatical? Of course, the correct version is "I'm thinking about where to go” but I can't explain why "about" fits. Likewise, I can't explain why “…a decision on where…” sounds better to me.

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    Both are acceptable. see google ngram search. There is a minor difference in meaning. About has more a sense of: on the subject of.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 24, 2023 at 23:03

1 Answer 1

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(1) No decision has been made on where to go on our holiday yet. (2) No decision has been made about where to go on our holiday yet.

Both are grammatically valid. A fluent speaker would understand, and might well say or write either. I think I might favor (2), just to avoid the repetition of "on" that occurs in (1).

In other uses of "a decision on" or "a decision about", I think the first is more likely to be used for a specific choice, often a yes/no choice, or a choice from a limited set of options; while the second for a more general decision in the area of the subject. But I would not assert this as an absolute rule, or an inference that can safely be drawn from such use in the absence of context.

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  • @Ronald Sole Thanks, got those also. Jan 24, 2023 at 23:53

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