This is the thirty-seventh lesson in our beginner level Spanish course and we will look at discussing The Weather in Spanish.
The weather, of course, is one of the staples of everyday conversation. Even in Spain, with its generally glorious weather, people still love to chat about the weather. In this lesson we will give you some useful vocabulary, verbs and structures to help you discuss The Weather in Spanish.
Useful vocabulary related to The Weather in Spanish:
El calor: heat
El chubasco: shower
El frío: cold
El granizo: hail
La escarcha: frost
El trueno: thunder
El rayo/El relámpago: lightning
El cielo: sky
El chaparrón/El aguacero: downpour
El huracán: hurricane
El nubarrón: thundercloud
La ola de calor: heat wave
El sol: sun
El tiempo: weather
El viento: wind
La humedad: humidity
La brisa: breeze
La lluvia: the rain
La nieve: snow
La temperatura: temperature
Aim to learn 10 new Spanish words a day, but be happy with 5
Don’t expect or try to learn all this vocabulary in one go. Building your repertoire of Spanish vocabulary is the biggest challenge when learning the language, but it can’t be rushed. We recommend aiming to learn ten new words per day if you can. But even if you manage to learn five, that is still great! Definitely work on building your vocabulary sooner rather than later as limited vocabulary will really hold you back further down the line.
When discussing The Weather in Spanish the verbs are a bit tricky. They don’t translate smoothly to English and can take time to get used to. Let’s take a look..
These are the four main verbs we use to discuss The Weather in Spanish and this is how they are used…
Hace frío/calor/sol/viento/fresco: It’s cold/hot/sunny/windy/chilly
Hace buen/mal tiempo: The weather is good/bad
¡Qué frío/calor hace!: It´s really cold/hot!
Hace un día horrible: It’s a horrible day
Hace cuarenta grados: It’s forty degrees
Hay tormenta/escarcha: It’s stormy/frosty
Está nublado: It’s cloudy
Esta nevando/granizando: It is snowing/hailing
¿Tienes frío/calor?: Are you cold/hot?
Tengo frío/calor: I am cold/hot
Hacer: To make/do
The most commonly used verb you will hear with The Weather in Spanish is Hacer. And it doesn’t translate as you would expect to English. As you saw in the previous examples, you say Hace… when you would say in English It’s… So, the literal translation from Spanish to English is, for example, Hace calor: It makes heat or Hace frío: It makes cold.
Always remember that it’s best not to translate things to and from your mother tongue with Spanish. Many of the common mistakes you hear Spanish students making tend to come from translating literally. Many people, for example, make errors with Hacer and The Weather and say things like Es calor or Es frio. Be careful not to fall into the same bad habits and try to cast your mother tongue aside when speaking Spanish.
Hay, Estar, Tener
We have already seen Tener and Estar in previous lessons in this course. The use of Tener with the weather is also a bit confusing at first as you might expect to say Soy/Estoy calor/frío when it should be Tengo calor/frío (I am hot/cold). Again, be careful not to translate literally. In Spanish we use Tener (I have heat/cold).
Hay is a new verb that we will look at in more detail later in the course. It translates to There is/are… With the weather it doesn’t translate as you would expect to English. As you saw in the previous examples, you say Hay… when you would say in English It’s… So, the literal translation from Spanish to English is, for example, Hay tormenta: There is storm or Hay escarcha: There is frost.
Finally, Estar (To be) has already been covered in detail earlier in the course and it translates quite smoothly Esta: It’s… You will see a new structure with Estar introduced here – Esta nevando/granizando…: It’s snowing/hailing… – this is an example of the present continuous grammar tense which is used to describe actions happening at that moment.
As with Hay, we will cover Estar and Present Continuous in full detail later in the course. For the moment this is just an introduction.