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So…isn’t this weather (crazy/beautiful/weird) lately?
Remember the last time you said that?
It’s a question we often jokingly ask when things get awkward or we experience a lull in conversation in English.
Because I was born and raised in Las Vegas, I’ve never really experienced “weather.” It’s either hot or it’s cold or it’s windy.
There’s rarely rain, even more rarely snow, and never hail (all three of which I experienced living in Italy.)
Since a lot of my time in Italy was spent walking around, it was important for me to know what the weather would be like.
I also learned the importance of having a waterproof jacket and rain boots (which are pretty cheap in Venezia, in case you were interested; probably because of the Acqua Alta phenomenon or something, but I’m only speculating…)
– Il sole – the sun
– La luna – the moon
– La pioggia – the rain
– La neve – the snow
– Una tempesta di neve – a snow storm
– Il ghiaccio – the ice
– La grandine – the hail
– Il vento – the wind
– Caldo – hot
– Freddo – cold
– Fresco – cool
– Umido – humid
– Una tempesta – a storm
– Una nuvola – a cloud
– L’arcobaleno – the rainbow
– Un lampo – lightning
– Un fulmine – a thunder
– Un temporale – a thunderstorm
– Una tromba d’aria – a strong gust of wind
– Le stelle – the stars
This is the most basic of the weather-related vocabulary, but it forms the basis for all weather-related conversations.
Using Your Vocab
Italians don’t say that it is hot or cold, they say that it does/makes hot or cold—they use the verb ‘fare’ for the temperature.
– Oggi fa molto caldo. – Today it is very hot.
+ You can also say Oggi fa caldissimo to really emphasize how hot it is.
There are also verbs for the actions of raining and snowing that are different (although not completely) from the nouns for snow and rain.
The verb for ‘to snow’ is nevicare; the verb for ‘to rain’ is piovere.
If it’s raining, you would say:
– Sta piovendo adesso. – It’s raining now.
If it’s snowing, you would say:
– Sta nevicando oggi. – It’s snowing today.
The verbs are conjugated the same as any other regular –are or –ere verb that you are familiar with, except that they are only ever conjugated in the third person singular. It’s not very often that you would need to say “I snow.” If ever.
When referring to the weather in the past tense, Italians almost always use the imperfect tense.
– Nevicava ieri sera. – It was snowing yesterday evening.
However, if the period of time you’re talking about has already finished, you would use the past tense.
– Ha piovuto durante il fine settimana. – It was raining during the weekend.
+ In this case, the weekend has already finished, but it rained during the entire weekend, so you would use the past tense.
16 Phrases for Talking About the Weather
So you’ve got a handful of vocabulary words, and you know how to use the verbs, but now you’ll want to use them.
You can ask someone: Che tempo fa? – What’s the weather like?
CPF: Another way to ask this same question is Com’è il tempo? – How’s the weather?
Here are 16 potential responses:
|Fa caldo.||It’s hot.|
|Fa freddo.||It’s cold.|
|Fa fresco.||It’s cool.|
|Fa bel tempo.||It’s beautiful weather.|
|C’è bel tempo.||It’s beautiful weather.|
|Fa brutto tempo.||It’s bad weather.|
|Fa cattivo tempo.||It’s bad weather.|
|È umido.||It’s humid. (Note: Humidity is something I really had to get used to in Italy.)|
|C’è umidità.||There is humidity.|
|È soleggiato.||It’s sunny.|
|C’è il sole.||There is sun.|
|È nuvoloso.||It’s cloudy.|
|Ci sono le nuvole.||There are clouds.|
|È ventoso.||It’s windy.|
|C’è il vento.||There is wind.|
|È tempestoso.||It’s stormy.|
|C’è il temporale.||There is a storm.|
The weather is an important and frequently used conversation topic, whether you want to use it to strike up a conversation or to keep one going that’s gotten a little dull.
Now you can do both of those things in Italian, too.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!