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Why is this singular event spoken/written as if it were plural in Spanish?

The statement "I think I am going to take a vacation this week" is translated as "Creo que me voy a tomar unas vacaciones esta semana."

I would think it would be "Creo que me voy a tomar una vacacione esta semana." as we're talking about a vacation (singular) here, not vacations (plural). What up?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

The singular in Spanish would be vacación, but it doesn't exist. It's one of those words that only exist in plural form, like gafas (glasses) or tijeras (scissors).

And scissors doesn't have a singular form in English either! Funny, isn't it?

Edit: just checked this in the RAE. We do have the singular tijeras in Spanish.

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Technically vacación exists in plural, but it's very rarely used and refers to the acción de vacar. – guifa Aug 23 '14 at 19:52
@guifa, ¿vacar o vacacionar? – Rosenthal Aug 23 '14 at 22:05
Vacar. Del DRAE: «3. f. p. us. Acción de vacar (‖ quedar un empleo o cargo sin persona que lo desempeñe).» Las primeras dos acepciones están marcadas como principalmente usadas en plural, pero esa no. – guifa Aug 23 '14 at 23:20
Ups, quise decir en el primer mensaje que técnicamente existe en singular jaja claro que se usa casi siempre en plural – guifa Aug 24 '14 at 15:52
La forma singular (vacación) también es correcto, según este página, aunque creo es mucho menos común--por lo menos en México. – Flimzy Sep 30 '14 at 17:42

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