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It's raining cats and dogs! And other Spanish weather expressions.

Updated: Feb 28


How to start a conversation when there's nothing else to talk about? The weather! It's a conversation that tends to come up organically if you find yourself waiting in line with people or quietly brainstorming for a way to fill an awkward silence.


In English, many of our weather expression begin with "it's":


It's pouring out!

It's so nice out!

I'm so glad it's sunny today.

Man, it's foggy!


In Spanish, "it's" can take a few forms, depending on the weather conditions, and whether you're speaking specifically or more in general.


Me explico:


HACER expressions: This versatile verb, which means to do or to make, can be used to express temperature and general weather conditions. In these statements, it loses its literal meaning and becomes more like "it's", as in the statements above. It takes the third person singular form with weather expressions:


Hace (mucho) frío.

It's (very) cold out. ("out" is implied for all weather expressions).


Hace fresco.

It's chilly/cool out.


Hace (mucho) calor.

It's (very) hot.


Hace sol.

It's sunny.


Hace viento.

It's windy.


Hace buen tiempo hoy.

It's nice out today.


Hace mal tiempo.

The weather is bad / It's not nice out.


ESTAR expressions: Sometimes we want to get a little more specific about the weather. Estar phrases are for adding some detail, for example, precipitation, clouds vs clear skies, sunshine. These are the most common with estar:


Está lloviendo. (or just: Llueve)*

It's raining.


Está nevando. (Or just: Nieva)*

It's snowing.


Está soleado. (like hace sol)

It's sunny.


Está nublado.

It's cloudy.


Está despejado.

It's clear; the sky is clear.


*Rain and snow can be single words too. "Está lloviendo / está nevando" more closely approximate "it is raining / snowing", while "llueve / nieva" are more similar to "it rains / it snows", but often those single words are used both for the actual moment as well as in general. (TMI?)


HAY expressions: Sometimes we use "hay" to indicate that there is some kind of weather element:


Hay niebla / neblina.

It's foggy / misty (lit: "there is" fog / mist).


Hay viento.

It's windy (lit: "there is" wind).


To negate any of these expressions, add "no" before hace, está or hay: no hay viento, no está nevando, no hace sol.


ADD SOME SPICE: Why not add some exaggeration when you're throwing your Spanish around? Here are a few statements, if you want to show what a natural you are!


¡Está lloviendo a cántaros!

It's raining cats and dogs! It's pouring! (lit: It's raining buckets)


¡Ay, qué calor! (don't leave out the "ay", it's a nice dramatic touch)

It's so hot out! (lit: What heat!)


¡Estoy sudando como un pollo!

I'm sweating like a chicken! (yup, it's a thing)


¡Me estoy congelando!

I'm freezing!


One last word of wisdom...Try learning these expressions as complete phrases, so you don't confuse the hace/está/hay starters. Learn a few at a time until they roll off your tongue easily, then learn a few more.


¡Que te diviertas! Have fun!








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Guest
Mar 07

Very interesting take on this enjoyed reading your thoughts.

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Guest
Mar 07

Plus compliments to the writer!

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Guest
Mar 07

It's a great idea to memorize these because you can use them on a daily basis. Then once they're memorized you've learned what each word means and can use it in other ways

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Guest
Mar 06

What a great way to become a multilingual! These simple yet specific tips will build up over time and allow me to communicate better with my students. ¡Muy buena flor delicada!

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Replying to

Muchas gracias, SP! :)

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Guest
Mar 06

Very encouraging. I have encountered native speakers who appreciate my clumsy attempts to communicate.

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