Questions, Answers about Holiday Activities

Imagine you are talking to an strange To find out what they did during the Christmas and New Year holidays. How can I ask about these and other holidays? How can I structure conversations about the holiday season?

This daily grammar explores how to formulate common holiday questions and answers.

Let’s start with some key terms and ideas.


Christmas and the New Year holidays are important in America. Common good wishes during the season include “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year”.

But how do you structure a discussion about such holidays?

You can start with a yes or no question. This includes the auxiliary verb “do”. The structure is generally:

Do+ Subject + Celebrate + Holiday.

For example, you can ask:

do you celebrate christmas


Celebrate New Year’s Eve?

The person asking these questions may answer yes or no.

Both answers can lead to interesting discussions.But for Today’s report, let’s go Estimate The answer is yes.

open ended question

You can follow up with more detailed questions about what the person did for Christmas and New Years.

You may need to ask open-ended questions, that is, questions that do not require a yes or no answer.

The word “what” is often used to ask open-ended questions about basic behavior. Combine “what” with the auxiliary verb “suru” to form the following structure:

What + do + subject + do + rest of sentence

Note that the verb “do” appears twice within the structure. Here’s how to use this structure to ask about holiday activities.

what did you do for christmas


What did you do on New Year’s Eve?

Note that the first example of “do” is in the past tense. “what did…” This is because you are asking about past events.


I could hear answers going in several different directions. One of the most common answers concerns the simple past tense of the verbs go, see, and visit.

For example, someone might say, “I went to my grandparents’ house,” “I met my cousin,” or “I visited my brother.”

The person may be speaking for themselves using the subject pronoun “I”, or they may be using the subject pronoun “we” if they are speaking for their family members.


So let’s use these ideas.

Ask yes or no questions about holidays HanukkahIt is a Jewish holiday around the end of the year.

Pause the audio and consider your answer.

Here’s one possible answer:

Celebrate Hanukkah?

For the next question, imagine you celebrated New Year’s Eve in Times Square, New York City. How do you use the verb “see” when someone asks you what you have done?

Pause the audio and consider your answer.

Here are some possible answers.

I look at the crowd, ornaments.


I saw the ball drop.

Of course, there are other answers as well. The key is to use the past tense of “saw”, as in “I saw…”.

Next time you hear Americans discuss the holiday season, take note of the types of questions and answers they ask. Such questions and answers are useful not only for talking about holidays, but also for many other activities.

I’m John Russell.

John Russell wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.


the words of this story

strange –adj.I want to know more about a subject or issue

for – a phrase for the purpose of

Estimate – v. think something is true or possibly true without knowing it is true

Hanukkah –n. an eight-day Jewish holiday celebrated in November or December

decoration –n.something added to something else to make it more attractive

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