Talking about the Weather with Hay, Hacer, and Estar

Contrary to English, only a few weather conditions are described using the verb “to be” in Spanish. The present continuous with estar is used to describe a weather event in process, for example, está lloviendo (it's raining) and está nevando (it's snowing). You can also use estar to say that it's cloudy or clear:está nublado and está despejado. That's about it. Most weather conditions in Spanish are expressed using the verb hacer + a noun. A few are expressed using only a verb. Look at the following examples:

¿Qué tiempo hace? (What's the weather like?)

Hace buen tiempo. (The weather is nice.)

Hace mal tiempo. (The weather is bad.)

Hace frío. (It's cold.)

Hace calor. (It's hot.)

Hace sol. (It's sunny.)

Hace viento. (It's windy.)

llover, o > ue (to rain)

nevar, e > ie (to snow)

Llueve. (It's raining.)

Nieva. (It's snowing.)

la lluvia (the rain)

la nieve (the snow)

lloviznar (to drizzle)

la llovizna (drizzle)

granizar (to hail)

el granizo (hail)

las nubes (the clouds)

el viento (the wind)

When the weather is very nice, you can say: Hace muy buen tiempo. To say it's very or not very cold or hot, for example, use mucho or poco: Hace mucho frío. Hace poco calor. Remember that to say you are hot or cold or you feel hot or cold, you must use the verb tener: Tengo calor; tengo frío. To say it's raining hard or snowing a little, say Llueve mucho and Nieva poco. Of course, to express the negative of any of these ideas, just put no in front of the verb:

No hace buen tiempo.

No hace sol.

No nieva mucho.

If you're really feeling negative about the weather, use nunca, for example, Nunca hace sol aquí (It's never sunny here).

To talk about foggy conditions, you can say Hay neblina. You can also use hay to talk about the existence of a weather condition like Hay mucha nieve (There is a lot of snow) or Hay mucho viento (There is a lot of wind).

Practice talking about the weather by describing the current weather conditions using as many of these expressions as possible.

Prepositions in Weather Expressions

You've had a little break from prepositions, but let's get back to them because they turn up in many Spanish weather expressions. Look at these examples:

Está por llover. (It's about to start raining.)

Está a punto de llover. (It's about to start raining.)

Llueve a cántaros. (It's pouring. lit.: It's raining jugs full.)

Empezó a nevar. (It started to snow.)

Por fin, dejó de / cesó de soplar el viento. (Finally, the wind stopped blowing.)

To talk about the weather at a particular time of day, use the prepositions en or por: Generalmente llueve en/por la tarde. And, when you're sick and tired of the weather, remember that Después de la tormenta viene la calma.

Weather Prediction

How often do you listen to the weather prediction? There are many online resources that you can use to practice weather expressions. On a Spanish newspaper site, for example, look for words like el pronóstico (weather prediction) and el clima (climate) or el tiempo (weather) to identify the weather link. The following audio activity will help you test your skills as you listen to two weather predictions.

Weather Prediction 1

TRACK 75

Listen to the weather report on Track 75 and answer the questions that follow. You can find a transcript of the audio and sample answers to the questions in Appendix D.

  • ¿Qué tiempo va a hacer hoy?

  • ¿Hará mucho o poco sol?

  • ¿Cuándo va a llover?

Weather Prediction 2

TRACK 76

Listen to the weather report on Track 76 and answer the questions that follow. You can find a transcript of the audio and sample answers to the questions in Appendix D.

  • ¿Será un buen fin de semana para acampar en la playa?

  • ¿Qué tiempo va a hacer en las montañas?

  • ¿Para cuándo podrás esquiar?

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