French Weather Expressions


Knowing how to talk about the weather in French is essential. Weather talk is the ultimate small talk. Whenever you run into someone – a neighbor, the baker, even a friend, there is a big chance that the conversation will start with a few comments about the weather. In French, the word for weather is “le temps”. To talk about the weather, say, “Il fait” plus the specific weather vocabulary word. For example, “Il fait du soleil” (It’s sunny out), “Il fait froid” (It’s cold out), “Il fait du vent” (It’s windy out) and “Il pleut” (It’s raining out).

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In the last module, we learned how to conjugate the verb faire. This verb, conjugated for the third person singular form, coupled with an impersonal use of the subject pronoun “il” is used as a standard expression to describe the weather. Look at the following weather expressions that are commonly used in French:

Quel temps fait-il ?

What’s the weather ?

Il fait beau       → It’s nice out.

Il fait du soleil → It’s sunny out.

Il fait chaud     → It’s hot out.

Il fait humide   → It’s humid out.

Il fait mauvais → It’s bad out.

Il fait froid       → It’s cold out.

Il fait frais       → It’s chilly out.

Other expressions that don’t use faire but describe or relate to the weather include:

Il pleut             It’s raining

Il neige            It’s snowing

Il y a / Il ny a pas There is / There is not any

de la pluie       some/any rain

de la neige       some/any snow

de la glace       some/any ice

du tonnerre      some/any thunder

du foudre         some/any lightning

du brouillard   some/any fog

du vent             some/any wind

Note: All of these expressions are given in the present tense. When you learn how to speak in the past and future tenses in later modules, you can adjust these phrases to fit accordingly. Meaning, you will change the conjugation of faire (fait), pleuvoir (pleut), neiger (neige), or avoir (a) to match the time you wish to describe. → “It was bad out. It was raining. There was some thunder.”

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