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How to talk about WEATHER in English

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to English With Lucy. Today I’m going to talk to you about how to describe the weather in English. We’re going to start off quite basic and move up to more advanced vocabulary. I’m going to guide you through seasonal weather, hot weather, cold weather, wet weather, windy weather, and I’m going to give you verbs, nouns, adjectives, and idiomatic expressions. Idioms. We’re also going to do a little bit of basic grammar at the beginning. But very, very easy. Don’t worry.

You may know that British people are famous for always talking about the weather, and this is because we are lucky enough to have four strong seasons. Winter, which is really cold. Spring, which is sunny and wet at the same time. Summer, which is normally hot and sunny. And autumn, which is colder and with lots of wind, and when all the trees lose their leaves. I’m going to talk to you today about different weather vocabulary that you can find in each of the four seasons.

But first, let’s discuss how to talk about the weather from a grammar point of view. This grammar is fairly basic. So if you’re looking for advanced vocabulary, click to the time shown onscreen. If you want to use an adjective, for example, warm, you could say, “The weather is warm.” The weather is adjective. You could also say, “It is warm.” It is adjective. But it only really makes sense if the adjective is related to the weather. If you say, “It is good,” I might wonder, well, what’s good?

But if you say, “It is warm,” I know that you’re talking about the weather. You can also say, “It’s a warm day.” It’s a adjective day. But what if you want to use a verb, for example, rain, the verb, to rain? You would say, “It is raining.” It is verb plus I-N-G. That’s if you want to talk about the weather right now. If you want to talk about yesterday or the past, you would say, “Yesterday, it rained.” Yesterday, it verb plus E-D. Apart from the irregular verbs, which have their own conjugation. If you want to talk about tomorrow or the future, you can say, “It will rain tomorrow.” It will verb tomorrow.

Or, “It’s going to rain tomorrow.” It’s going to verb tomorrow. If you want to talk about a noun, you would say, “there is,” “there was,” or “there will be.” That’s present, past, future, plus the noun. There is a storm. There was a storm. There will be a storm. Right. So now that’s out of the way, first let’s talk about winter, the month that I am in now in England. I’m going to start out with adjectives, and I warn you, there are a lot of adjectives associated with winter. You can say “cold.” Cold. Bitter, bitter.

That’s very, very cold. It’s just a step further than cold. You could even put them together and say, “It’s bitterly cold.” It’s bitterly cold. You can say “It’s chilly,” which is slightly cold, or chilling. That’s a little bit more. Crisp. Crisp normally means it’s cold and dry, or maybe it’s icy. Icy. You can say, “It’s freezing,” or “It’s frosty.” You can also say, “It is severe,” or “It is wintry.” That means it’s a very wintry day. It feels like winter and it is winter. If it’s winter and the weather conditions are very bad, the skies are grey, you can say, “It’s gloomy,” or “It’s bleak.” Or if there’s a lot of very aggressive weather, you can say, “It’s harsh.” We often talk about a harsh winter. Now let’s talk about some verbs. You can say “to snow,” which is obviously white, fluffy stuff falling from the sky.

To sleet. Sleet is partly frozen rain. So it’s like very wet snow or very, very cold, almost frozen rain. It’s normally very unpleasant. If it’s sleeting, I go inside. You can also say “to hail.” If it’s hailing, it means that little hailstones, little, tiny balls of ice, well, normally tiny, but there are big ones, are falling from the sky. It’s completely frozen rain. You can also say “to freeze,” or “to freeze over.” And to freeze over means covered with a layer of ice. So I might say, “My pond has frozen over.” My pond is covered with ice. Now some nouns you might use to describe winter. So we’ve got sleet, hail, snow, frost, as I’ve mentioned before. You also have blizzard, which is a windy snowstorm. And for some idioms, you can have a cold snap, which is a short period of cold weather, or you can be frozen to death, or frozen to the bone, which means you are completely frozen through. Right. Let’s talk about spring. Spring is known for being sunny and rainy. It’s warm and it’s wet, and it’s when all of the plants start to grow. Adjectives you can use are cool. It means it’s not cold. It’s not unpleasant. Nor is it warm. Mild is the same thing.

Mild. Fresh, as well. It’s a very fresh day. You can say, “It’s bright.” The sun is out. You can say “breezy,” which means a light wind. It’s normally very pleasant and welcomed. When you’re talking about clouds, you can say “cloudy,” or slightly more advanced, is overcast, where there is some sunlight, but there are also some clouds, meaning that you don’t have a completely sunny day. It’s overcast. You hear the meteorologists on weather stations talking about an overcast day quite a lot. One that’s not so positive is muggy. And this is if the air is very, very humid. It’s can be cold or hot, and you can have a muggy summer’s day as well, but it means there’s high humidity in the air. Another word you can say is simply “wet.” It’s a wet day. It’s been raining a lot. Time for some verbs. Well, talking about rain, you can say “to drizzle.” It’s drizzling. This means it’s a constant but gentle flow of rain. To shower, pretty much the same.

That means it’s more sporadic or occasional. Meteorologists normally say you can expect showers throughout the day, which means occasional patches of rain. You can say “to pour,” which is where it rains really, really heavily.

Moving on to the nouns, you’ve got rain, which is uncountable. You’ve got a shower, which is a light patch of rain. You can also have a downpour, which is a really heavy patch of rain, or even a flood, where the ground becomes inundated and can’t absorb any more water. Idioms. You can say “to chuck it down,” which means a heavy downpour. You can say, “It’s raining cats and dogs,” although in reality we don’t actually use that idiom that much, but it seems to be the first idiom that anyone ever learns. You can also say “to bucket down.” If it’s bucketing down with rain, it’s raining really hard. And you can also be soaked through. This is where it’s rained on you and you are really, really wet. Oh my God. I’m soaked through. Right. Let’s talk about summer and adjectives that could be used to describe summer weather. Firstly, of course, we have hot. Other words that could be described hot weather are scorching, sweltering, boiling, sunny. You could also say “dry,” if there’s not been any rain and there’s no humidity. You can say, “It’s a clear day,” if there are no clouds in the sky. Or you could say, “It’s very humid,” if the air is very wet. You can also say, “It’s blistering.” A blistering sun.

Verbs. You can say “to shine.” The sun is shining. You can also say, “The sun is burning,” if it’s especially hot. And you can also say “to scorch,” just like the adjective. Nouns. The only extras really to add are sunshine, which we like to say a lot and to talk about the heat. Now there are a couple of idioms relating to our reactions to the sun. You can say “to catch some rays,” which means to absorb some of the sunshine and maybe get a tan. You can also say “to go brown,” which again refers to tanning. You can also soak up the sun, which means the same thing again. And when talking about sweating, you can sweat like a pig. Oh my God, I’m sweating like a pig, which means I’m sweating a lot. Finally, let’s talk about autumn, or as they say in America, fall. In British English, we say “autumn,” but we do understand what fall means because we see it on the TV and the movies. But in America, they say “fall.” Some adjectives relating to autumn. My favourite and the most descriptive is autumnal. Autumnal. It’s a very autumnal day. It tends to be windier in autumn. So you can say “windy.” Another lovely one is blustery.

It’s a blustery day. And it can also be misty or foggy, which is when there is cold moisture in the air, normally in the mornings. Some verbs specifically relating to wind. It can be howling with wind, to howl. Or to blow, as well. The wind is blowing. Nouns. A gale, a strong wind. A hurricane, a very, very strong wind. A tornado. That’s when wind goes around in a vortex. And you’ve also got mist and fog, which I mentioned before, which is cold moisture in the air. Right. That’s it for today’s lesson. Your homework is to write in the comments about the weather from where you are today. And please mention where you are because I love seeing where you come from.

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