It might be a Southern thing. From my Northeast (New York/Boston) and Southern California (San Diego) perspective, I would say on is more common for a past tense question. If asking about a future vacation, for would be more common. That is my experience, at least. But it's not like either would give me pause at all.
Adónde (to where) is used when the question asks about movement toward something. ¿Adónde vas? Where are you going?
Dónde is used when the question does not ask about movement from one place to another. ¿Dónde estás? Where are you? ¿De dónde eres? Where are you from?
Spanishdict.com has many good examples.
It's not really standard correct usage in English. Some dialects do add "to" to this question, but the standard English is just Where did you go on vacation. "To" is only required when a particular destination is mentioned, so essentially never with a where question. Spanish is different here.
You are misunderstanding the rule, as that is not the correct translation.
“¿Dónde fuiste?”= “Where were you?” (a question of location, and therefore wrong, because location uses estar, not ser. It would be “¿Dónde estuviste?”)
- “¿Adónde fuiste?” = “Where did you go?” (a question of motion)
While the meanings may seem very similar, they are not the same.
Adónde fuiste is the better Spanish. I don't know if there is regional variation in what native speakers say, but adónde is also what I hear from native speakers. Dónde assumes a set location and is used mostly with estar. Since ir always goes with a, adónde asks to where. The to can be omitted in English, but not in standard Spanish. As I say, some variation may exist, but Duo does tend to favor what is considered the most standard, to the extent that is possible. It does tend toward the spoken standard, however, not the written.
Prepositions don't always match up between languages. De vacaciones is the standard way to say "on vacation" in English. Notice that it's plural too.
It is normal where I was born and lived in England and Scotland (Birmingham, York, Edinburgh.) To clarify for the course developers, in the UK "holidays" is used for a single vacation, even though it's a plural word. Probably because a vacation is usually several days, and a "holy day" refers to only one.
Marked incorrect 10/12/18. Reported.
I see that many British speakers have spoken (pardon the pun). Yet I would like to make a clarification and hear your input. My understanding (which may be flawed) is that AmE 'vacation' = BrE 'holiday', while AmE 'weekend' = BrE 'holidays'; AmE and BrE 'a holiday' would be the same. Am I wrong? Are there variations?
I don't think you have it right, at least not completely. But the easiest way of sorting it out is probably just to provide the American English definition of those terms. Weekend is easy. The weekend is Saturday and Sunday, although when holidays are celebrated adjacent to a weekend, people talk about "long weekends", which can be like mini vacations. A holiday in the US is essentially what you would call a bank holiday. But our holidays have different levels. Certainly for Christmas every thing closes down, but many holidays don't close down stores, although banks and government offices will generally be if it's called a holiday. The exception is some religious holidays and holidays from other cultures. I live in San Diego, and you will find a lot of references to Cinco de Mayo as a holiday, although it isn't a US holiday. "The holidays" refers to the period of time between our Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday of November) and New Years (or sometimes Epiphany). Vacation has two different uses, although it's essentially the same thing. From an employer's perspective, vacation is the time off given per year, generally paid. But since people tend to go away for vacation, any trip away from your home for entertainment is generally called a vacation, even if you're not "on vacation" from work or school. I guess you're on vacation from your normal life.
I appreciate your explanation. I also see that once again in my hurry I did not make clear what I want. I am familiar with American English. I wanted British people input on the topic of 'a vacation'/'vacation'/'vacations'.
I do believe that your response would be beneficial to the others who do not have a close acquaintance with American English.
Your question isn’t clear enough for me to be sure I’m answering what you want to know. If you are asking which word in the Spanish means “go”, then the answer is “fuiste”. See the indicative preterite for “ir”: http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/ir
If you’re asking which word in “where did you vacation?” covers the meaning of the “go” form “fuiste”, there isn’t one, because vacation was shifted from a noun to a verb and doesn’t need “go”.
Apparently it is also possible to do this in Spanish, as the verb “vacacionar” exists. But this seems to be uncommon, with the periphrastic “estar/ir de vacaciones” used more frequently.
I think of this a being a place where English is doing something weird. We really ought to need a “to” here, but “where” and “go” together magically imply it, so we usually leave it out.
For the most part, I would suggest trying to give your answer as naturally as you can without changing the meaning, because the expected answer tends to be in a normal English format. Trying too hard to match it word for word won’t serve you well, because that isn’t how DL looks at the answer to begin with.
When you get one wrong, look closely at whether or not there really is a difference in meaning, and if there isn’t, then report it. It’s the only way to improve the accuracy of the grading.
According to Castellano Actual, both are correct (just make sure to include the accent mark that's found on interrogative pronouns; not a donde and adonde, but a dónde and adónde) http://udep.edu.pe/castellanoactual/duda-resuelta-donde-adonde-a-donde-y-en-donde/ "Adónde es un adverbio interrogativo o exclamativo que significa ‘a qué lugar’, e igual que el caso anterior, también es correcto escribir a dónde: ¿Y adónde iremos de viaje?"
You use “estar” when giving the location where something is or was, but this is talking about going somewhere. The verbs “ir” and “ser” have the same form in the preterite tense, and it’s “ir” that’s being used here.
If you used “estar”, then it would shift from “where did you go” to “where were you”, which could make sense but isn’t the question that was asked here.
Here, the "fuiste" used is in the preterite conjugation of the verb
Well, indeed, "estar", in some cases, accompanies location.
But, aligning "estar" (not "ir")
"ser" in this case, will lead us to—
"Where were you...?" (—at some precise time—otherwise—imperfect wil be a better choice)
(not, "Where did you go...?")
"Ser", here, makes no sense at all. "Ser" means "to be something or some entity" e.g. that in an occupation (a teacher, a doctor,...), or a place, or some space itself (e.g. Earth, room,...)
—Fue médico hace mucho tiempo.
—¡Mira! Esta fue mi ciudad favorita el año pasado.
I'm a native English speaker, born and raised in London and we always say "Where did you go on holiday?" or "Where did you go for your holiday?" when referring to one trip. We only ever say "Where did you go for your holidays?" when referring to more than one trip during a specific period of time. I've seen from the other comments that there are regional differences throughout the rest of England and the UK, and differences with American English too, so I hope this helps and doesn't cause any more confusion.
British English words are almost never included out of the gate, so to speak. Or at least that's my assumption based on comments. I don't use them, so I don't try them. So the cause of your issue is undoubtedly that enough people reported that holiday should be accepted, but not enough reported holidays. The Duo staff doesn't speak British English, so it's not as if someone is likely to think if they add one they should add the other. Even with American English that doesn't happen a lot. Report the answers you want accepted. But the process is time consuming before a change happens. When you come to this exercise again, or a different one with vacaciones it then becomes your choice whether you want to police Duo's process or go for the safe answer. I tend to go with the answer I think Duo wants. If I understand the Spanish, it's not important to me to argue the English unless I don't think they are saying the same thing. But that is my choice. You are free to make your own.
I'm confused why the s on the end of vacaciones doesn't make it plural?
It is plural in Spanish, but this is a translation question. I wouldn't translate "ir de vacaciones" literally as "go about vacations." That doesn't make sense in English. You'll see with translation that grammar isn't always 1-to-1 between languages. For example, the Spanish word "gente" is singular, but it's translated as "people, (a plural noun) in English.
Adónde is essentially "to where". You will also see it as two word A dónde. It's a question about a destination. It is generally followed by a motion verb, especially ir. Dónde is a question about a location or position. It is most commonly followed by a form of estar.
That's a totally different sentence. It would have three differences.
It would use estar, not ser. Ser and ir have the same preterite, but they should never be mistaken for each other because saying where you are uses estar, not ser, so it can't be confused with where you went.
It would use dónde instead of adónde because it's would be asking about a static position, not motion to a place.
It would use the imperfect instead of the preterite. You are asking about something that was a continuous state for an indefinite period in the past.
Your sentence would be ¿Dónde estabas de vacaciones? I also can't say for sure whether the British term holiday is accepted, but if that's the only issue always report it.
It's not something quite like English does. You really have to memorize these uses of prepositions. It's what the Spanish use instead of the on or for which an English speaker would do. The best Spanish based explanation I could give is that it's like saying that the "going" was made of vacation, but that probably won't help you much.
I'm not sure exactly how to answer your question, since I don't know that there's anything significant about "de." I can tell you something about its function in this construction, however.
First you want to get used to seeing/using "de" with "ir" when talking about doing something even though the expression uses "go." For example, to say "to go shopping" you use "ir de compras." Similarly, "to go swimming" is "ir de natación." In all of these kinds of expression, "ir" and "go" emphasize doing the activity rather than traveling to a place. Also note that a noun rather than a verb is used to represent the activity. That is, you don't say "ir de comprar."
As an aside, if you see "ir a comprar," someone is talking about shopping in the future, using the "going to buy" phrasal future (e.g., "we're going to buy/shop for hats tomorrow" = "vamos a comprar sombreros mañana"). You can recognize that usage because there's a verb rather than a noun for the activity. Also, the connecting preposition is "a" and not "de." Anytime you see "ir a verb," it means "to be going to verb."
Finally, what makes interpreting the "de" here still more complicated is the fact that "ir de" is how you'd talk about going "from" some place, as opposed to going "to" some place, and the "place" will obviously be a noun. If you "leave home," for example, it's "ir(se) de casa." Generally, the noun will be a place when "ir de noun" means "to go from some place," and it will be an activity when "ir de noun" means "to go do something."
In sum, "ir de noun" is how you say "go verbing" when the "noun" represents the activity you're going to do.