Halloween Costume Trends

I recently came across this great infographic over at the W5 blog, called Spooktacular Halloween Costumes (notice that spooktacular is just a fun portmanteau of spooky and spectacular—more on portmanteaus in this blog post). 

This seems like a great opportunity to talk about how we talk about costumes in English, which can be a little tricky. If you're talking to an American friend about an upcoming Halloween party, she might ask you:

What are you going as?

What am I going as? Going as?

It may sound like a strange question, but your friend is asking you what your costume will be, or what you will be pretending to be for halloween. Another way to say this is:

What are you dressing up as?

You could answer with:

  • I'm going as a ghost.
  • I'm going as a dog.
  • I'm going as Wonder Woman.
  • I'm going as Jon Snow from Game of Thrones.

Notice that if you are going as something generic (not a single, specific character), we use an indefinite article—a ghost, a cat, an elephant—but for specific characters, we don't need an article.

One more thing: if you're a character from a movie or TV show, it's common to add from [the movie]:

  • I'm going as Jon Snow from Game of Thrones. 
  • She's going as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.
  • He went as Wolverine from X-Men.

So, what are YOU going as for Halloween!?