Grammar Patterns

on N

The 'duty' group

These nouns refer to activities that people are involved in, particularly to do with work, or with aggressive behaviour. We include here attachment, loan, and secondment, which indicate that someone is temporarily working in a different place.
George goes overseas on assignment five or six times a year.
The Democrats are back on the attack.
I told them he'd gone away on business.
He's on a course this week at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
I'm going on a date with Justin.
Two guards with dogs are on duty at night and one during the day.
In Atlanta, mobs went on the rampage, smashing windows and looting stores.
She has two full-time secretaries, one of whom is on secondment from the Royal Navy.
She's gone on a spending spree and run up a debt of £3,200 so far.
  • on active duty
  • on active service
  • on (...) alert
  • on assignment
  • on attachment (to ...)
  • on business
  • on duty
  • on exercise
  • on guard
  • on loan (from/to ...)
  • on parade
  • on patrol
  • on secondment (from/to ...)
  • on tour
  • on the attack
  • on the go
  • on the march
  • on the move
  • on the offensive
  • on the prowl
  • on the rampage
  • on the road
  • on the scrounge
  • These nouns are used as normal count nouns:
  • assignment
  • bender
  • course
  • date (with ...)
  • dig
  • exercise
  • mission (to ...)
  • quest
  • spree
  • tour
  • wild goose chase
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