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Learn How To Write Spanish

How’s the Weather? – in Spanish: part 2

In the previous Spanish ‘how to’ lesson (How’s the Weather? – in Spanish: part 1), we introduced you to some useful terms and phrases you can put to use in Spanish conversations about the weather. Please review part 1, then come back here to converse about the weather…in Spanish.

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Raúl and his wife Elena are getting ready to go out. Elena needs to know something about the weather in order to dress appropriately.

Raúl, no sé si llevar un suéter o no. ¿Cómo es el tiempo?
Raul, I don't know whether to wear a sweater or not. How is the weather?

Bueno, en la tarde estaba nublado. Creo que va a llover. Además del suéter creo que debemos llevar un paraguas.
Well, this afternoon it was cloudy. I think it's going to rain. Besides the sweater I think we'd better take an umbrella.

They go out the door.

Tienes razón. Ya está lloviznando.
You are right. It's already drizzling.

Another time Elena is speaking by phone with her tía (aunt):

Tía, lo siento mucho pero no vamos a llegar a la hora de la cena. Hace mal tiempo y los vuelos están en atraso. Dicen que si sigue la tormenta los vuelos serán cancelados completamente.
Auntie, I'm sorry but we are not going to arrive by the dinner hour. The weather is bad and the flights are delayed. They say if the storm continues the flights will be completely canceled.

No se preocupen, queridos. Cuídense y nos vemos más tarde.
Don't worry, dears. Take care of yourselves, and we'll see you later.

One day at the office Raúl is having a conversation with a coworker:

¡Qué tal este tiempo! Parece que hay un cambio del tiempo cada dos horas. Prefiero un clima donde el tiempo es menos variable.
What about this weather! It seems that there's a change in the weather every two hours. I prefer a climate where the weather is less variable.

Por lo menos no es aburrido. Te gustaría vivir en Caracas, o en la región montañosa de Costa Rica. Dicen que el clima menos variable se encuentra en las latitudes tropicales a una altura de mil metros o más. ¿Qué dices?
At least it isn't boring. You would like to live in Caracas, or in the mountainous region of Costa Rica. They say the least variable climate is found in tropical latitudes at an altitude of one thousand meters or more. What do you say?

Basta de soñar. Con que las calles no están inundadas a la hora de salida y con irme a la playa el sábado, estoy satisfecho.
Enough dreaming. With the streets not being flooded at leaving time and with my going to the beach on Saturday, I'm satisfied.

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How’s the Weather? – in Spanish: part 1

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There is one topic that people can always talk about–the weather. If you are learning Spanish you may want to prepare yourself for a casual weather conversation. You can get ready to ask and answer questions about how the weather is currently, or what the forecast–el pronóstico–says it will be. You may want to be able to excuse yourself from certain events on account of the weather. Perhaps you would like to know more about places where the weather is characteristically to your liking; that is, places that have a certain climate.

Our purpose here is to provide you with some useful terms and phrases you can put to use in conversational situations about the weather.

As a start, lets learn some expressions with the main weather verb: hacer ‘to make or do.’

Hace frío. — It's cold.
Hace calor. — It's hot.
Hace sol. — It's sunny.
Hace fresco. — It's cool.
Hace viento. — It's windy.
Hace buen tiempo. — It is good weather.
Hace mal tiempo. — It is bad weather.

Llover is the word for the verb ‘to rain’, and nevar means ‘to snow’. As in English these verbs are used impersonally.

Llueve. — It rains.
Nieva. — It snows.
Truena. (tronar) — It thunders.
Va a llover. — It's going to rain.
Va a nevar. — It's going to snow.

Some weather conditions can go with hay, an impersonal verb form related to haber ‘to be or exist.’

Hay nubes. — There are clouds.
Hay sol. — There is sun.
Hay llovizna. — There is drizzle.
Hay niebla. — There is fog.
Hay neblina. — There is low fog.
Hay brisa. — There is a breeze, light wind.
Hay relámpago. — There is lightning.

An ongoing condition may be communicated using the verb estar ‘to be (in a condition).’

Está nublado. — It is cloudy.
Está lloviendo. — It is raining.
Está nevando. — It is snowing.

Note that a verb you will not find in weather expressions is ser ‘to be.’ It is worth pointing that out as English weather expressions are formed around ‘is.’

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In the next Spanish ‘how to’ lesson–How’s the Weather? – in Spanish: part 2, we’ll see how some of the weather expressions work in conversational exchange.

Spanish Accentuation

Spanish accentuation relies on specific rules, and words that are not stressed according to these rules must have a written accent mark. If you’re thinking that, because you only want to learn conversational Spanish, you don’t need to learn the Spanish accentuation rules, think again.

While learning Spanish, you will be exposed to the written word and by learning the Spanish accent rules you’ll have that much easier of a time pronouncing Spanish words when you see them. You see, not all Spanish words–that don’t have an accent mark–are stressed on the penultimate (second to last) syllable.

This article is an addition to my Spanish teacher’s excellent lesson on the rules of the Spanish accent mark. So I won’t repeat the rules here. What I want to do instead, is add a specific rule that might trip you up, at first.

It’s likely that the first subject you’ll be taught while learning Spanish–after greetings–is travel, and if you’re not learning solely by audio, you’ll have seen this (or something like it) written:

¿Dónde está...? Where is...?

Notice the accent mark on dónde? Yes, well if you were to say (and write):

El lugar donde puede almorzar The place where you can eat lunch

you do not use the accent mark. The word donde sounds the same whether it’s in a question or a statement. The rule here is: pronouns and adverbs within questions and exclamations require a written accent to differentiate them from their relatives.

Here are a couple of more examples:

¿Quién está ahí? Who's there?
La mujer a quien amo The woman whom I love

¿Qué es eso? What is that?
El jugo que no quería The juice that I did not want

Got it? For a full understanding of Spanish accentuation and the rules for when to use–or not use–the accent mark, read the Spanish accent mark lesson.

Did you find this article on Spanish accentuation helpful? Please leave a comment or question. I try to answer questions promptly.