Wednesday, August 1

Weather Words





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Recently, there have been a lot of reports about strange climate changes everywhere in the world.



In general, my online Asian friends have talked about floods due to nonstop rains; especially in Thailand, India, Cambodia, and the Philippines.



I have also heard about abnormally high temperatures in countries like Japan, Spain, and America -- to mention but a few.




These great changes in climate have brought about a lot of problems. The problems range from being mere inconveniences to being serious threats to life.  










I urge everyone to take all precautions possible to minimize harm and danger.



Let’s all pray for the best, and hope that these changes don’t have permanent, devastating effects to the world.






“Weather” You Like It or Not




Having said that, let me start off our topic for today: expressions that talk about weather and weather conditions.



This is a simple and easy enough topic and yet, very often, the simple things are also the most complicated and difficult to do.





When talking about the weather, the first thing you should remember is the PronounIt.” This is used to talk about the weather in general and other parts of it (such as temperature).



For example,


It’s sunny.

It’s hot today.

It’s windy.

It’s a scorcher*.

* a very hot day

It’s cold here.



I’m sure you’ve already heard a couple or all of the expressions above at some point in your English study. What I want to tell you is that, “It” in all our examples doesn’t have any specific meaning. 






Some books call this kind of "It" just a “Dummy It.” ("Dummy" means fake or not real.) Because it’s not like the common Subject or Pronoun that has a direct meaning.



But this is quite common with the PronounIt.”



The problem is non-native speakers might find it strange to use a Pronoun that doesn’t have an exact meaning. So they might prefer to make a sentence like:



I feel hot (today).


Or,


I feel hot here.



These two sentences are both grammatically correct. But, although the PronounI” has a real meaning unlike the "Dummy It,” these expressions wouldn’t be so natural to use to talk about the weather.



It's still better if you practice saying:



It’s hot. (=Ok)


Or,


It’s really hot here. (=Ok)





Rain…




The next thing we’re going to talk about is the word “Rain.” I have met many learners who don’t completely know what kind of word “Rain” is. And so, they often make a sentence like:



It is rain. = X



They use the word “Rain” as a Noun.



In a way, they are right. The word “Rain” can in fact be a Noun.



For example,



There was a large amount of rain last month. = Ok


The rain has stopped. = Ok


Rain is badly needed in many parts of the region. = Ok



But if a student is going to talk about “Rain” in normal, common situations in their everyday life – for instance, weather – it’s better for the student to learn about the other kind of “Rain.”



In fact, “Rain” is also a Verb.



This is why when we talk about the event or situation of rain, it’s very common to make sentences like:



It’s raining (now).

It has rained (just).

It has been raining (for an hour).

It rained (yesterday).

It’s going to rain (soon).

It will rain (soon).



It's exactly the same with the word “Snow.”



It’s snowing.

It has snowed.

It has been snowing.

It snowed.

It’s going to snow.

It will snow.



So, the next time you talk about “Rain” or “Snow” – whether in the form of a sentence or a question – please remember that they're both, more commonly, a Verb. Try to use them as that.





… Or Shine




I also noticed that many students use the expression:



It’s rainy.



Even if they’re talking about only 1 event or 1 situation of rain. I can guess the reason behind this.



Students try to follow the examples of many “weather” expressions such as:



It’s sunny. = Ok

It’s windy. = Ok

It’s cloudy. = Ok



But it's not a good thing to use:



It’s rainy.



Because the AdjectiveRainy” actually means a series of many times of rain, not only one. So this might be correct in only some cases. For example,



It has been rainy all week





But not when you are talking about only 1 event of “Rain.” It’s still better to use an expression with “Rain” as a Verb.






It's raining now. (=Ok)








Hope you learned something!


;-)






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