¿Qué Tal Está el Clima? Spanish Weather Words for Adult Conversations
Look out the window and tell me: what’s the weather like? Is it sunny? Cold? Rainy? Now, try to use Spanish weather words to describe it. Not so easy, is it?
If you’re ready to expand your small talk Spanish skills to include the weather, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll explore how to use Spanish weather words, phrases, and expressions to give you a powerful conversational tool for your next light-hearted Spanish exchange.
How To Talk About the Weather in Spanish
If anything connects all human beings, it’s that we all talk about the weather. It’s the perfect icebreaker. The weather is your best friend when you want to avoid awkward moments and uncomfortable silences.
But how do you do that in Spanish? What’s the way to start a conversation in Spanish about the weather while on the bus or inside an elevator?
Think about what you would say in English, and pay attention to the little variations in Spanish:
It is hot, right? – Hace calor, ¿verdad?
It is a cloudy day. – Está nublado el día.
It is windy, right? – Hay viento, ¿verdad?
Notice how for the same verb in English (is), you have three different ones in Spanish (hacer, estar, haber). That’s the first thing you need to know when learning new words about the weather in Spanish.
Hacer, Estar, Haber
In Spanish, three main verbs exist to talk about the weather:
Hacer (literally: to do or to make)
This verb explains what the weather does. Do not try to literally translate it as it won’t make sense in English.
Hace frío. – It’s cold.
An idiom is an expression that can’t be literally translated. Also known as an idiomatic expression, every language has a fair share of them and Spanish is not the exception:
Hace frío is an idiom, as its literal translation would be: “It makes cold”. But in English, it makes no sense to make the cold, the heat, or any kind of weather.
The true meaning of hace frío is simply: It’s cold.
Estar (to be)
This verb explains what the weather is.
Está soleado. – It’s sunny.
I know it’s confusing to see different verbs in Spanish, but just one in English. Try to stay with me on this one! I promise you’ll get it by the end of this article.
Haber (there is)
This verb answers the question, “what weather is there?”
Hay neblina. – It’s foggy.
You’ll get a full list of words and phrases using these verbs below. For now, keep in mind that you’ll have to use a different verb depending on the kind of weather you’ll be talking about.
El tiempo (Isn’t that “the time”?)
In Spanish, to ask what the weather’s like, you say, ¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? , The fact is, the weather translates as both el tiempo and el clima. El tiempo, as you may know, means “time.” Things get weirder when you realize that el clima is the same word used for “climate.”
In a nutshell:
Tiempo = time, weather.
Clima = weather, climate.
For a deeper explanation, check out how to translate “weather”. But believe me, even for native Spanish speakers like me, it’s hard to understand why we refer to the weather as el tiempo. Of course theories exist about it, you can easily imagine a time in the past where time was defined by the natural cycles of the Sun and the Moon, and there you can start to see a connection between time (el tiempo) and meteorological phenomena that affect the weather.
Let’s learn some weather-related words, phrases, and expressions, and then we’ll come back to analyze how to use them in a conversation.
Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives
|El tiempo||The weather (n.)|
|El clima||The weather (or the climate) (n.)|
|El frío||The cold (n.)|
|El calor||The heat (n.)|
|La lluvia||Rain (n.)|
|Llover||To rain (v.)|
|Lloviznar||To drizzle (v.)|
|Granizar||To hail (v.)|
|El viento||The wind (n.)|
|La niebla||The fog (n.)|
|La brisa||The breeze (n.)|
|La nieve||The snow (n.)|
|Nevar||To snow (v.)|
|La tormenta||The storm (n.)|
|El huracán||The hurricane (n.)|
|El pronóstico del tiempo||The weather forecast (n.)|
|la Primavera||Spring (n.)|
|el Verano||Summer (n.)|
|el Otoño||Fall (n.)|
|el Invierno||Winter (n.)|
|Hace calor||It’s hot|
|Hace frío||It’s cold|
|Hace viento||It’s windy|
|Hace fresco||It’s chilly|
|Está lloviendo||It’s raining|
|Está nevando||It’s snowing|
|Está nublado||It’s cloudy|
|Está soleado||It’s sunny|
|Está granizando||It’s hailing|
|Está lloviznando||It’s drizzling|
|Hay sol||It’s sunny|
|Hay nubes||It’s cloudy|
|Hay neblina||It’s misty|
|Hay humedad||It’s humid|
|Hace buen tiempo||The weather’s nice|
|Hace mal tiempo||The weather’s bad|
|Me estoy asando||I’m roasting|
|Me estoy congelando/Estoy helado||I’m freezing|
|Hace mucho frío/calor||It’s very cold/hot|
|Hace un día horrible||It’s a horrible day (weather-wise)|
|Hace un día hermoso||It’s a beautiful day|
|¡Ay qué calor!||It’s so hot!|
|¡Llueve a mares!||It’s raining cats and dogs! (mares means oceans)|
|¿Cómo está el clima/tiempo?||How is the weather?|
|¿Qué tiempo hace?||How is the weather?|
|¿Cómo ves el clima?||How do you see the weather?|
|¿Qué tal está el clima en [lugar]?||How is the weather in [place]?|
Use the Spanish Weather Words in a Conversation
Let’s go back to that great human unifier that is the weather small talk, and use this vocabulary to start a conversation about it!
Small Talk at a Bus Stop:
- ¿Cómo ves el clima? (How do you see the weather?)
- Pues, hace un día horrible. (Well, it’s a horrible day.)
- Tienes razón, estoy helado. (You are right, I’m freezing.)
Small Talk by Phone:
- ¿Qué tal está el clima en Londres? (How is the weather in London?)
- Está lloviendo todo el tiempo. (It’s raining all the time.)
- ¿También en el verano? (Also during the summer?)
- Así es, siempre llueve. (That’s right, it’s always raining.)
Small Talk by Phone 2:
- ¿Cómo está el tiempo por allá? (How is the weather over there?)
- Está nevando. (It’s snowing)
- ¡Qué bien! Siempre he querido ver la nieve. (That’s cool! I’ve always wanted to see the snow.)
Small Talk in a Bar:
- ¿Cómo ves el clima? (How do you see the weather?)
- Hace mucho calor, no estoy acostumbrado a esto. (It’s too hot, I’m not used to it.)
- No te preocupes, ya casi se acaba el verano. (Don’t worry, the summer is almost over.)
Tiempo Extra (Overtime)
The only way to understand why tiempo in tiempo extra refers to ”time” and not to “weather” is by recognizing how it’s being used in context. With use and context, you’ll easily understand when tiempo means “time” and when it means “weather.” Same thing goes with the verbs hacer, estar, and haber. Practice makes perfect!
Test yourself on what you’ve learned in this article by signing up for a free class with one of our native Spanish speaking teachers! Try mixing the different questions, phrases, and expressions to make your conversation colorful and fun. With real-time practice, you’ll quickly understand when you should say hace calor (it’s hot), when it’s better to say está caluroso (it’s hot), and when you can simply say hay sol (it’s sunny).
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