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All About the Weather

In English, it is very common to casually fill time in conversation by talking about the weather. This is fairly universal at this point, so it pays to learn how to talk about the weather in Spanish as well.

First off, the word for weather is el tiempo, which is the same as the word for time. You may also see el clima, which is easy to remember as it looks like the English word climate.

Second, the verb most associated with weather is hacer, which literally means "to do" or "to make". So we don't talk about how the weather is, but rather what the weather does.

For example, a very common question you may hear is, "How is the weather?" In Spanish, this would look like:

¿Qué tiempo hace?

Literally, this is "what weather do?" Just like you might say you feel cold using tener instead of estar, the weather will use hacer instead of estar to express cold:

Hace frío. → "It's cold."

There are a variety of words that can follow hacer. Here are a few of them:

Spanish English
frío cold
calor calor
viento wind
sol sunny
buen tiempo good weather
mal tiempo bad weather
fresco brisk

Of course, you can use adjectives on these:

Hace mucho viento. → "It is very windy."

Don't forget you can use other tenses to talk about future or past weather. Just remember to use the 3rd person singular (the subject of the sentence is omitted, though):

Hará sol mañana. → "It will be sunny tomorrow."

Hay and estar

Do you know the verb hay? It means "there is" or "there are". It is the conjugation of the verb haber. It is useful in general conversation, but also can be used to express weather conditions:

Hay nubes. → "It's cloudy."

Literally, this is "There are clouds", so it is easy to remember.

Estar can also be used with weather, for example, Está oscuro means "It's dark." The difference is that you use the adjective, rather than a noun, with estar.

Está nublado. → "It is cloudy." Hay nubes. → "It is cloudy."

Same thing, just don't confuse which goes with which.

Obviously there is tons of vocabulary to go with weather expressions, but this is enough to get you started.