a vacancy at Chilton Preparatory starting immediately

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A woman's reading a letter from "Chilton Preparatory" to her friend:
"Dear Ms. Gilmore, We are happy to inform you that we have a vacancy at Chilton Preparatory starting immediately. Due to your daughter's excellent credentials and your enthusiastic pursuit of her enrollment" - I offered to do the principal to get her in - "we would be happy to accept her as soon as the first semester's tuition has been received."
("Gilmore girls", tv-series)

I didn't see the verb 'start' for the word 'vacancy' in Oxford collocation dictionary, so, when 'a vacancy starts', does that really mean 'a vacancy is created'?
Thank you.
  • dadane

    Senior Member
    Indeed you cannot 'start a vacancy'. 'Starting immediately' is a set phrase and means that 'the place is available now'.

    It is not the vacancy which is 'starting' but the 'fulfilment of the vacancy'.
    Last edited:


    This is very complicated for me:D
    I understand which 'fulfilment' you're talking about -- "the act of doing something that you promised or agreed to do". But, technically, 'starting' refers to 'vacancy' in the sentence, right?
    So, you say -- "Starting immediately' is a set phrase".
    Which means I can say
    "we have a vacancy at Chilton Preparatory starting immediately
    but can't
    "we have a vacancy at Chilton Preparatory which starts immediately."


    Senior Member
    English - US
    It's the "having" that starts immediately, not the vacancy itself.
    We will have a vacancy in February.
    We had a vacancy last year.
    We have a vacancy now.
    We have a vacancy starting immediately.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Vik, just accept that the original was badly written.

    It meant that the school had a vacancy for the daughter to start there immediately.

    ... presumably as a student, but the "vacancy" could be for employment as a teacher.

    In British English, we would use "vacancy" for a job and "place" for a pupil or student.
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