Time off – expressions

By admin 12 comments

Learn the vocabulary to talk about being absent from jobs in English:

to take time off = to be absent from work, at home or on vacation.

  • I’m going to take a few days off to visit my parents.
  • I’m taking Monday off to go to the dentist and do some jobs at home.

to take a vacation = to take time away from work, especially when you travel for pleasure.

  • I’m taking my vacation next month. We’re going to Spain.
  • I have to take my vacation during the school holidays because of my children.

to take a sabbatical = to take time away from work to study or travel, usually while continuing to be paid.

  • He’s on a sabbatical while he does his MBA. He’ll be back next month.
  • She’s on a sabbatical from her job while she does research for her thesis.

to take unpaid leave = to have an authorized absence from work but without salary.

  • She’s taken some unpaid leave while she moves house.
  • I don’t have any paid holiday left so I’d like to take unpaid leave.

to be off sick = to be absent from work due to illness.

  • When you are off sick, you must provide a doctor’s note.
  • He has been off sick for a few days now. I think he’ll be back at work on Monday.

sick leave = the time that you can be absent from work, often while being paid part or all of your salary.

  • She is having an operation and so will be on sick leave for the next two months.
  • When you are on sick leave prescribed by your doctor, you get paid your full salary for the first three months.

maternity leave = the period a mother is legally authorised to be absent from work before and after the birth of a child.

  • Her maternity leave finishes next week but she is not coming back to work.
  • Statutory maternity leave is paid for up to 26 weeks and can start 11 weeks before the baby is due.

parental leave = the time that a parent is allowed to spend away from work to take care of their baby.

  • He has taken parental leave to look after the baby while his wife returns to work.
  • You have to work for an employer for one year to qualify for parental leave to look after your children.

statutory sick pay = the money paid by a company to an employee who cannot work due to illness.

  • If you are absent from work due to illness, you may be able to claim sick pay.
  • To claim sick pay, you have to have medical certificate from your doctor stating that you are unable to work.

a public holiday = a day when almost everybody does not have to go to work (for example in the US July 4th or January 1st).

  • We have 25 days paid holiday plus 10 public holidays.
  • When there is a public holiday on a Thursday, many people take the Friday off too.

exercise 1

exercise 2

exercise 3

exercise 4


Rut García

May 5, 2012, 2:58 pm

Thanks a lot for these useful collocations!!

Mutana faruk

May 5, 2012, 8:10 pm

This is very interesting. I will like to have this stuff always to improve my vocabulary. My question today is: is it correct to say, I, mutana faruk says congratulations?


May 5, 2012, 7:35 am

thanks a lot, i m very surprised that few people still have kindness for human being might be, i m not correctly express my feeling in word but i pay my thanks to u, may god fulfill ur all the wishes

sajid hussain

May 5, 2012, 3:54 pm

thank you


May 5, 2012, 2:10 pm

Thank you for sharing your exercises. They are very useful!!
Thanks a lot!

Patricia Benitez

May 5, 2012, 6:46 pm

Thank you very much for your lessons. They are very useful to me!!

Nandor Makkai

May 5, 2012, 8:49 pm

Many thanks Mr Brown for a useful lessons.

Saber Saboori

May 5, 2012, 10:37 am

that is realy nice

Irian Vasallo Baez

May 5, 2012, 5:25 pm

Dear Pearson,

i have a doubt in one of the sentences you copied. what does MBA mean?
once more thanks a lot. i am learning very much with all the exercises. i like them a lot.

Ms, Irian
from Cuba

Yukthi maduranga

May 5, 2012, 1:55 pm

I could find lotof new things of English! Thanks!


May 5, 2012, 6:54 am

thank you very much God bless you

Fatima thabit

May 5, 2012, 6:56 am

thank you


Oct 10, 2012, 7:37 am

Excellent job……truly useful to all

Comments are closed.