And when we're close to a particular holiday season, some say, "Where are you going for the holiday?", when we should say "holidays".
Technically, "holidays" is more accurate, since it's an agglutinative word combing "holy" & "day", and most big religious holidays are a season (a series of days) rather than one day. Christmas, for example, lasts for 12 days from Christmas Eve to Epiphany: Dec. 24 - Jan 5. The feast of the Epiphany starts on Jan. 6 and Epiphany is church "season".
Of course, since it's English we're talking about, each season has it's "big" day, so that would be a "holiday" - Dec. 25 for Christmas. However, when we ask, "Where are you going for Christmas" or "for the holiday", we actually mean "the Christmas holidays" but don't have to say it in the plural, because everyone knows what we mean. If we're asking about Dec. 25, we'd say, "Where are you going on Christmas day?" And, of course, none of this is "written in stone" - it's not a rigid rule. "holiday" or "holidays", people know what you mean. Usually.
"I don't know how to end the holidays." was accepted. And "holidays" is used in plural in English, just like "vacanze" is plural in Italian.
Possibly there has once been an expression "giornate vacanze" in some olden Italian and the "giornate" got dropped over time, but the feeling is still there...
wild guesses, but they might help to remember it or accept it :-/
I think that sometimes even Italians have trouble with that, so that if you're talking to someone in Italy, they might not even notice it.
I was testing out my Spanish the other day, and I said "vino roja". When I corrected my self to "vino rojo", the person I was speaking to just shrugged his shoulders. He knew I was talking about red wine, and was only mildly interested that i knew I had made a grammatical mistake.
It may be strictly colloquial, but in southeast US, a vacation doesn't have to include a holiday. I can take my vacation in August or I can save my vacation days and take them during the "holidays". I guess we think of vacation as a time away from work and a holiday as a recognized day of celebration or remembrance.
I'm not sure I understood..
The phrase was : "i don't know how the holidays end"
that I translated with "non so come finiscono le vacanze"
Step by step: "I don't know" = (Io)Non so "how"=come "end" =finiscono (third person plural present ) "the holidays"= le vacanze "
"No so finire le vacanze" would be (but a little odd): I don't know how to end to the holidays. Like if I had to return to work but i don't know how to do it ( I like too much the holidays)