Skip to Content

Vacances Meaning & Translation – Vacation in French

Vacances Meaning & Translation – Vacation in French

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.

les vacances


French word of the Day: les vacances (vacation)

Vacances Meaning & Translation

Origin of the word vacances

According to, 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!

Example of how to use "vacances" (vacation) in French.

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!

Sharing is caring!

Affiliate disclosure: Below you will find affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To learn more please visit our full disclosure page. Merci!

Sign up to download your free trial of À Moi Paris a French course which I recommend to my personal students to help with pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. After that, upgrade for access to 77 hours of audio lessons.

Read our full review of À Moi Paris and find out why we love it so much!

Are you struggling with French verb conjugations? Then we highly recommend French Today's French Verb Drills course. Get over 28 hours of audio exercises to build reflexes and dramatically improve your French level and confidence.

Read our full review of French Verb Drills and find out why we recommend this course!

David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

See all posts by