Cecilee Linke

I can write you a story, teach you French, sing you a song.

The Weather

One of the most common uses of the verb “faire” in French is talking about the weather.

In English, we use the verb “to be” when talking about what the weather is like outside.

 

It is partly cloudy.

It is 50 degrees outside.

 

In French, the verb “faire” is used. So what you are literally saying is that it is making that weather. But we would not translate that literally into English, because it would sound really funny to say, “Yes today it is making beautiful weather,” right?

 

Il fait chaud = It is hot (lit. It is making hot)

Il fait nuageux = It is cloudy (lit. It is making cloudy)

 

Here are some common weather expressions in French that we will be learning in this unit. Click below to hear them spoken:

      1. La météo en français

 

French English
Il fait du brouillard It’s foggy
Il fait beau The weather is nice
Il fait du soleil It’s sunny
Il fait nuageux It’s cloudy
Il fait orageux It’s stormy
Il fait mauvais The weather is bad
Il fait _______ degrès. It’s ______ degrees
Il fait chaud It’s hot
Il fait froid It’s cold
Il fait du vent It’s windy
Il pleut It’s raining
Il neige It’s snowing
des éclaircies sunny spell
ciel partiellement couvert partly cloudy
des averses showers

There is one vital thing to remember when talking about the weather in French, especially with talking about the temperature.

Here in the United States, we use the temperature scale of Fahrenheit (simply abbreviated as F) when talking about the temperature of something. For example, in an American recipe “Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown.” In those recipe instructions, it is implied, since the recipe was written by an American, that you bake your food at 375° Fahrenheit.

Also, in this scale, water boils at 212°F (Fahrenheit) and water freezes at 32°F.

In American weather forecasts, the weather temperature is always in Fahrenheit.

However, in weather forecasts in France, and pretty much the rest of the world, the temperatures are given in a different temperature scale called Celsius, or simply abbreviated as C. This also applies to any temperature measurements, whether it’s talking about weather, baking something, etc. For example, in a French recipe, they might give instructions like “Bake at 180° for 25 minutes.” It is implied that it is in Celsius since the recipe was written in French, since the French would never use Fahrenheit.

In this scale, water boils at 100°C (Celsius) and water freezes at 0°C.

So when we are talking about the temperature in French, we always use Celsius.

To give you some comparisons between Celsius and Fahrenheit, here is a very helpful graphic where you can see equivalent temperatures between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit

 

Now enough about science! Let’s get to talking French!

 

Let’s look at a 5-day weather forecast for Norfolk, Virginia:

 

 

lundi mardi mercredi jeudi vendredi
         
8° / 2° 10° / 6° 11° / 4° 9° / 4° 9° / 4°

 

Looking at the weather for lundi, you can see the picture for what kind of weather to expect (a little rainy with some sunny spells) and underneath that, two temperature readings. The number on the left is the high, or the temperature it’s going to be during the day, and the number next to it on the right in the same box is the low, or the temperature it’s going to be during the night.

So we know the weather is going to be a little rainy with some sun, and that during the day, it’s going to reach 8° and at night, the temperature is going to drop to 2°.

So here’s how we could talk about the weather for lundi. There are several ways we could do this:

Lundi, il pleut et il fait du soleil. Il fait 8 degrés.

On Monday, it’s raining and sunny. It’s 8 degrees.

Lundi, des averses et des éclaircies. Il fait 8 degrès le jour et il fait 2 degrès la nuit.

On Monday, showers and sunny spells. High of 8° and a low of 2°.

 

How about the weather for jeudi?

For jeudi, it looks like it’s going to be windy, and the temperature will be 9° for the high and 4° for the low.

Jeudi, il fait du vent. Il fait 9° le jour et 4° la nuit.

 

Homework:

Pick any 10 weather expressions and come up with an illustration for them. Write the French expression at the top and put your illustration directly below it.

Look up 5 other chores in French and illustrate them.

Complete this quiz on the weather.

 

Homework for Week 2:

Complete this practice quiz for talking about the weather.

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