French Grammar Explained /

Talking about the weather

Brrr, it's cold these days, don't you think?
Yeah, it's definitley getting chilly!
See what we just did there?
We talked about the weather?
Yes! This topic is used for small talk in France, too. Let's get you started on some French chit-chat!
Basically you have 3 ways to talk about the weather:
  • Express what you physically feel with il fait + adjective
Il fait chaud/froid/frais/20 degrés.
It's warm/cold/fresh/20 degrees.
Il fait beau/mauvais.
It's a beautiful/miserable day.
  • Describe what you see with il y a + partitive
Il y a de la neige/pluie.
There's snow/rain.
Il y a du soleil/vent/brouillard.
There's sun/wind/fog.
Il y a de l'orage.
There's a thunderstorm.
Il y a des nuages.
There are clouds.
  • Describe what's happening with il + verb
Il pleut/neige/grêle.
It's raining/snowing/hailing.
Small talk, here I come!
Here are some other expressions you can also use:
« Il fait un temps de chien. »
The weather is awful.
(lit. it's a dog's weather)
« Il fait un froid de canard. »
It's bitterly cold.
(lit. it's a duck's cold)
« Il y a un soleil de plomb. »
The sun is blazing.
(lit. there is a lead sun)
« Il pleut des cordes. »
It's raining cats and dogs.
(lit. it's raining ropes)