Words and phrases to use when it rains

As we all know, it rains a lot in England. It rains more than you can imagine, but not as much as the west coast of Norway – that place is insane. Naturally, we invented a lot of ways to talk about the weather; because it is always different. Every day you must check the weather and properly prepare your umbrella and raincoat, or wind breaker, or arctic winter jacket. Sometimes it is even sunny. Most of the time, though, it rains. One time it rains even more than usual is spring. It is also spring in the rest of the Northern hemisphere. It also rains quite a bit in those places. Not in Barcelona, because in Barcelona is hardly ever rains. Either way, here are some phrases to use when it’s raining.

 

  1. Asking about the weather

First you will need to know how to ask about the weather and talk about it in general. The most important thing to note is that the weather is most often given a dummy subject: it.

It’s sunny.

            It’s raining.

            It’s cloudy.

So we might ask questions such as:

How is it outside?

            What’s the weather doing?

            What’s it like today?

Note that we use adjective construction (it is sunny) and verbs (it is raining) interchangeably and be careful not to confuse them (How is it like outside?)

 

  1. It’s raining cats and dogs.

Now I’m not sure if it has ever really rained cats or dogs, but it has rained frogs. That is scientific fact as read on some random website. Apparently they can get sucked up by whirlwinds or something and then they fall as rain. Probably not much fun for the frogs. But when it rains a lot, we say it is raining cats and dogs.

Oh my God Jules, ‘ave you seen this downpour? It’s rainin’ cats and dogs!

However, this phrase is just for fun as it’s not widely used these days.

  1. It’s raining a lot

We have many more usefulways to talk about a downpour:

            It’s pouring down

            It’s raining buckets

            It’s bucketing it down

It’s pissing it down – NB This is impolite and should not be used in formal situations!

 

  1. It’s not raining very much

            It’s just spitting – little drops of rain

            There’s some drizzle – a light rain

            I think it’s just some light showers – showers are intermittent short burst of rain

            It has been raining on and off – similar to showers, the rain stops and starts

            It’s overcast – The sky looks like it is going to rain

 

  1. After rain happens

If you get rained on or feel bad about the constant rain day after day then you can express your distaste.

I’ve had enough of this rain – This structure can be used for many things

I am soaked! – If you were out when it pissed it down

The sun is trying to come out – When the rain has finished and it gets brighter

 

There are many, many more idioms and phrases for the weather in English but they will come in future posts.

 

Written by James R. McCance for Aston School

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