Usage of for and during


Where are you going for the holidays?

It's common to give cash to parents for family holidays.


I think During is used with events, so for should be during,  shouldn't it? And is for used with numbers like 'stay for two days'?


Where are you going during the holidays?


It's common to give cash to parents during family holidays.


Or is there a meaning difference between them? What do you native English speakers think?

Thank you so much as always for your help.

edited Dec 09 '13 at 11:09 Hans Contributor

1 answer


In the US, "the holidays" refers to the time from Thanskgiving (the end of November) through New Year's Day.  It is about a five week period of time.


For means "with the purpose of" or indicates some belonging.  During is about a period of time.  The difference, when used with the holidays, is whether you are talking about something for the purpose of the holiday or something in that period of time. 


Where are you going for the holidays? This means  - where are you going to be on the day(s) you celebrate the holiday(s)?  Where you will be waking up on Christmas morning?  What venue are you going to for midnight on New Year's Eve?  The purpose of going is the holiday.


Where are you going during the holidays?  This is not asking what you are specifically doing wfor the purpose of the holiday.  We just want to know what you are doing in that period of time.


It's common to give cash to parents for family holidays.  This means that you are giving a gift for that holiday, just as you would give a gift on a birthday.  The reason for the gift is the holiday.  [I'm curious. Is it really common where you live to give cash to your parents?  It is very uncommon in my corner of the world.] 


It's common to give cash to children during family holidays.  I changed this to children because I can't wrap my brain around giving cash to parents during the holidays.  When our kids are little, we often give them some cash during the holidays so they have spending money and can shop for gifts.


I hope that helps!

link comment edited Dec 09 '13 at 23:01 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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