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Is this correct?

Ich freue mich, dass es Wochenende ist.

Or should I say:

Ich freue mich, dass es das Wochenende ist.

With or without the article? I have definitely heard the first, but I am not sure if it is informal/slang.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

In your example it is absolutely correct to leave out the article. The pronoun "es" is used here as a placeholder to further specify a following condition. We can better see the grammatical construction if we split the subordinate clause:

Es ist Wochenende.

In this case "Wochenende" is the condition for "es" as it would also be the case with other conditions like e.g.

Es ist Nacht. Es ist Sonntag. Es ist Feierabend.

Note that in case we further elaborate the condition (e.g. by using an adjective) we then need an article:

Es ist das erste Wochenende im Jahr. Es ist das schönste Wochenende seit langem.

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"Ich freue mich, dass es Wochenende ist" is correct, but the most idiomatic form is without "es": "Ich freue mich, dass Wochenende ist".

"Das Wochenende" in this context would always refer to a specific weekend (e.g., the first weekend in April), never to weekends (or whatever happens to be the current weekend) in general.

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Ich freue mich, dass es Wochenende ist. is a general remark: I'm happy, it is weekend.

Ich freue mich, dass es das Wochenende ist. is correct, but it sounds a bit strange. It has more the meaning I'm happy, it is this special weekend. In German I would prefer Ich freue mich, dass es dieses Wochenende ist.

I'm not sure, but I have the impression Ich freue mich, dass es das Wochenende ist. has some dialect influence. I'm from south of Germany and I would say in dialect something like Ich freu mich, dass es des Wochenend isch.. The dieses Wochenende has a more upper German impression on me.

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