So, what are you doing this year for your holidays? We're going on a cruise, all expenses paid...
Sound familiar? Okay, maybe not the all expenses paid cruise part, but the most common question after "What are you doing for New Years?" is, of course, "What are you doing for your holidays?". You hear it at work, with your friends, and even from your family, so you might as well know how to properly respond in English, right?
Generally, when we talk about our holidays, especially those that are coming up soon, we generally use the present continuous or the future form "going to". You can read all about why we use these specific grammar forms to refer to the future in this post - how to talk about the future - but just to recap a bit here for you, we use these tenses when we are talking about our future plans or arrangements. Here are two dialogues where you can find these grammar tenses used, along with other useful vocabulary for this topic.
Dialogue 1 - organized plans
Context - Sam and Jake are coworkers, they get along just fine but aren't best friends, so the language they use will be informal but polite.
Sam: So, summer has arrived, it's so hot! I can't wait to go on holiday.
Jake: Right, it's definitely too hot to be in the office. Where are you going this year?
Sam: You won't believe it, we are finally going to Japan!
Jake: Oh wow that's great, how long are you staying?
Sam: Two weeks - one in the mountains and one on the beach.
Jake: Sounds lovely, are you going with the family?
Sam: Yes, just Mary and the kids. What about you, what are you doing for your holidays?
Jake: Nothing as exciting as Japan, we're renting a camper and taking a trip around the country.
Sam: Sounds like an adventure though! Who are you going with?
Jake: My girlfriend and our two dogs. We'll also do a few days on the beach and a few days in the mountains. I can't wait!
Sam: That'll be great. Sounds like we both have good things waiting for us this summer!
Dialogue 2 - no plans yet
Kerry and Rory are classmates but also very good friends, so their language will be quite informal and much more familiar than in dialogue 1.
Kerry: Finally!! We've finished our exams!
Rory: I know, right?! It seemed like summer would never come. Are you doing anything fun this year?
Kerry: Yes! I'm going to the beach with the girls in July, and then I'll stay with Josh and his family in August in the mountains.
Rory: Lucky you! I'll be stuck in the city all summer.
Kerry: How come?
Rory: I'll be working all summer, I got a job as a bartender to make some extra cash.
Kerry: Oh, that's good though, I'm sure you'll find things to do in your free time to relax a bit.
Rory: I hope so. I'd like to take some day trips to the beach, that way I can at least get a tan!
Kerry: That's the spirit! And you'll have extra money to spend on yourself, so it's a win-win!
Rory: You're right! Anyways, let me know before you leave so we can meet up.
Kerry: Definitely! See you soon!
coming up: something that is happening in the near future
recap: to summarize
get along [with someone]: to have a good relationship with someone
I can't wait: to be impatiently waiting for a future event
I know, right: informal - I agree
How come?: informal - why?
get a tan: when the sun browns your skin
a win-win [situation]: informal - when a situation has only advantages, not disadvantages