I think this just has to do with language conventions. For example, in English it wouldn't make sense to say "Vacations are in August", but in Spanish it wouldn't make sense to say "Vacacion es en Augosto". I'm not sure what the EN/SP grammar rules behind this are, but I've NEVER heard any native Spanish speaker use a singular form in this context. I think this is just something that's lost in translation.
For example, "I'm on vacation" ---> "Estoy de vacaciones". Means that same thing, yet one is plural and the other isn't.
Actually that's not why. Shirts have two places for your arms to go as well called sleeves. It's because pants actually used to be two separate pieces of clothing; two pants - one for each leg. Then they were modified into a single piece of clothing and never lost their plural name in English.
Although if you were a horrible boss and one of your employees asked you, "Can I take my vacation time now because my grandmother is sick?" then you might say " No, vacations are in August. Stop asking for preferential treatment and wait like the rest of your colleagues. Besides you only have nine more months to wait.
As far as I understand, in Spanish they mean "vacation days", that's why it's plural. You could have one contiguous vacation or several contiguous vacations, each consist of several vacation days. You are able to express having several distinct vacations in English, but not likely in Spanish with just "vacaciones".
Vacations should be in cold months so you can go to warm places. Or they should be in warm months to go to cold places. The point of vacations are to mess up your internal clock so much that you don't care if it's winter or summer of spring or fall. You just remember your vacation and it's that season in your mind. I'm nutty!
aakkttaa - not quite correct. You are probably thinking of the word каникулы, which is always plural. It, however, corresponds more to a break from studies, such as 'spring break'. The Spanish word vacaciones corresponds to English vacation (or holiday, as they call it in Britain), and that in Russian is отпуск, which exists in both singular and plural. I am a native Russian speaker, and a semi-native English one. :-)
My understanding is that vacation is ALWAYS plural in Spanish, even when it is taking about a single day. For instance: "He took a vacation day" would be "Tomó un día de vacaciones", or "He took a one day vacation" would be "Tomó unas vacaciones de un día". ¿Es eso correcto?
in this sentence, it says "the vacation it is in august". this would be acceptable if there was a question mark between vacation and it. so it would be "the vacation? it is in august." (the speaker would be repeating the question and answering it) but that would be the EXACT translation.
HarpoChico, I know how you feel. I said the plural (as we would say the Spanish words given in my lesson, vacations are, translated literally in English) to see if that would be accepted, and Duo said correct, plus added that "another" translation would be "The vacation is in August." So Duo apparently accepts both as of when I saw it in review. June 2017.
If you read through the comments here, the singular/plural question has been covered many, many, many MANY times. The comments are here to help us; posting questions without first looking through the discussion to see if your question has already been answered defeats a lot of the discussion's purpose. Go to the very top of this very comment page. The very first comment is about the singular/plural "dilemma," and there are a ton of responses to it.
Use the comment section as the resource it is intended to be, and not a place to dump questions that have already been answered and walk away so that you don't have to do the work of looking at the answer yourself.