It's raining cats and dogs!

Phrases and vocabulary for talking about the weather

Ahh... the weather. Like it or loathe it, when you run out of everything else it will always be there... the universal conversation starter! Master the following phrases and vocabulary as your introduction to this most popular of subjects.

Pay attention to a couple of differences between French and English in the following phrases: "It's windy" translates to "There is some wind", and "it's foggy" does a similar thing with "There is some fog".

Also note that when it comes to weather, we don't say "il est..." (it is) but rather il fait... (it makes/does).

Play audio il pleut = it's raining

Play audio il neige = it's snowing

Play audio il y a du vent = it's windy

Play audio il y a du brouillard = it's foggy

Play audio il fait chaud = it's hot

Play audio il fait froid = it's cold

Play audio qu'est-ce qu'il fait beau! = what a nice day!

Play audio il fait un temps affreux = the weather is terrible

Play audio l'orage = storm

Play audio la neige = snow

Play audiola grêle = hail

It's raining... ropes?

In English we might say "It's raining cats and dogs!" to communicate the idea that the rain is somewhat heavy. French speakers have an equally bewildering saying: "It's raining ropes":
il pleut des cordes. Play audio

If you think that that doesn't make any sense, take a moment to consider the cats and dogs!