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General Writing and Grammar Help/AT Christmas - OVER Christmas

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "AT Christmas" and "OVER Christmas"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

By the way, is it correct to call them "prepositional phrases"?

Happy holidays,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "AT Christmas" and "OVER Christmas"?

*** To many people, both phrases -- prepositional phrases -- mean MORE than just Christmas Day.  In that sense they can be interchangeable.

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

**** I plan to spend a week in Rome AT Christmas.  I plan to spend a week in Rome OVER Christmas.

**In the above examples, Christmas refers to a SEASON and not a specific day.

However, if you want to refer to December 25, specifically, you would write something like this:  I plan to spend Christmas Eve at church.  ON Christmas Day, I will be with my entire family.

You can also use other words to indicate a span of time, rather than a specific day:  DURING Christmas, my friends and I will be skating in the Alps.

By the way, is it correct to call them "prepositional phrases"?

YES

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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