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Hello and welcome to Learn English Vocabulary. My name is Jack and I’m making this podcast for you to learn or revise English vocabulary.
These podcasts are graded from A2 which is around lower intermediate all the way to C2 which is advanced.
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I didn’t publish a podcast last week because I was on holiday. I was going to record some podcasts when I was away, but in the end, I was too busy and too tired. I’m sorry if you missed the podcast.
Today, I’m going to talk about the weather and some A2 vocabulary.
Now, lots of learners are taught a very strange idiom in English that means it’s raining really heavily. In English, you can say it’s raining cats and dogs. However, I think I have heard people say that maybe twice in my life. It’s not a common expression. So I’m going to tell you some more useful expressions for when it’s raining or snowy or windy or sunny.
Let’s start with rainy weather. If it’s raining a little bit, you can say it’s spitting. So the other day, I went to get my umbrella from the car, but then I didn’t bother because it was only spitting. It was only raining a little bit. Now, if it’s raining a bit harder than that, you can say that it’s drizzling. This is the worst sort of rain, because it can last for hours. Sometimes, it can feel like it has been drizzling for weeks. This is often the sort of rain you get in the summer in the UK. Not heavy rain, but unpleasant enough to not want to go outside.
OK if the rain is heavy, you can say it’s tipping it down. Actually, there are lots of phrases that mean it’s raining heavily. You can say tipping it down or it’s chucking it down or even bucketing it down. It’s quite common to hear the phrase pissing it down, though I need to point out that this is vulgar or rude language. If you are unfortunate enough to get caught outside when it is chucking it down, you may get drenched or soaked to the skin. This means that your clothes are so wet, your skin is wet beneath them. Soaked to the skin.
My favourite phrase to talk about rainy weather is: it’s really coming down. We say this when the rain is unexpectedly heavy. I like it, because it suggests that there is something else that rain can do. It’s always coming down when it’s raining. But that’s not what it means – it means it’s raining very heavily.
Snowy weather is not common in much of the UK. It hasn’t snowed where I live for a year or two and before that, it had been ages. Because of that, when it’s snowing, we usually just say: it’s snowing. When I was a child, I loved snow and the first question I’d ask when it was snowing was is it settling? You see, if the ground isn’t cold enough the snow just melts; it doesn’t settle and you don’t get to make snowmen or play on a sledge. The cruelest trick of the winter is similar to snow: sleet. This is horrible weather, snow and rain mixed together. It gets you wet and cold faster than any other weather. It looks a bit like snow so children get excited. Is it snowing? No, it’s sleet.
When there’s a lot of wind, you can say it’s windy. When the wind is blowing on and off in powerful gusts, you can say it’s blustery. If it’s a summer’s day and there’s a light wind, you can say it’s breezy. If the wind is blowing very hard, you can say it’s blowing a gale out there. In the winter and spring, there’s often a cold northerly wind. Sometimes, you look out of your window and the sky is blue and the sun is shining, but there’s a cold wind. On a day like that, you can say there’s a brisk wind or it’s a bit brisk out there. If the wind is really brisk, the sort of wind that numbs your ears and nose, you can say there’s a biting wind.
Lastly, let’s think about sunny weather. We don’t get a lot of really hot sunny weather in the UK, but when we do, we love it for a day or two and then we like to complain about it. If the weather is not too cold, you can say that it’s a mild day. Most of the time in the UK, the weather is mild. Once it gets pleasantly hot, you can say it’s a warm day. I once laughed at a UK weather forecast that warned people that the weather was going to be very warm. Not hot, but very warm. If it’s hot and humid, people might say it’s balmy or stifling. If it’s very hot you can say it’s scorching, baking, sweltering or even boiling.
SO there you have lots of language you can use when it’s raining or snowing or windy or sunny. I hope that wherever you are, the weather is nice and warm with a gentle breeze.
If you have enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a comment or a review and don’t forget that you can read the transcript for this podcast and complete some language activities on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk.
Thanks for listening.