In this lesson we’ll learn how to say vacation in French: les vacances. In French, vacation is always a feminine-plural noun: les vacances. A very common misake for beginners to make is to say vacation in singular form “la vacance”. That is wrong. Keep reading to discover some sentences with les vacances.
Vacances Meaning & Translation
Origin of the word vacances
According to Lexilogos.com, vacances comes from the Latin vacans, which is the past participle of the Latin verb vacare (to be free, not busy, vacant).
In French, the singular noun la vacance does exist but it has nothing to do with going on vacation. It means “vacancy” as in a “job vacancy”.
Example sentences with vacances
The French use two verbs to express “going on vacation”: aller en vacances and partir en vacance. While aller means to go and partir means “to leave”, these two ways of saying “to go on vacation” are more or less synonymous.
aller en vacances, partir en vacances
to go on vacation
Here are some exampe sentences using vacances.
On part en vacances en Espagne cet été.
We are going on vacation to Spain this summer.
Où est-ce que tu préfères passer les vacances, au bord de la mer ou en montagne ?
Where to you prefer to spend your vacation, at the sea shore or in the mountains?
The following example sentences uses the verb profiter, which means to “enjoy” and not necessarily to “profit” financially.
Bonnes vacances ! Profitez de votre séjour !
Have a good vacation! Enjoy your stay!
The following example sentences uses the term les grandes vacances, which refers to summer vacation in France.
Sylvie va visiter le sud de la France pendant les grandes vacances.
Sylvie is going to visit the south of France during summer vacation.
This example sentence uses the term les vacances scolaires, which is “school vacation”.
Les vacances scolaires en France sont toujours en février.
School vacation in France is always in February.
Et voilà ! You now know how to use les vacances (vacation) in French. Now check our lesson covering how to pronounce the names of 10 major French cities!