Do you know how to talk about the weather in Italian?
Whether making small talk with someone I’ve just met, or conversing with a friend or family member, I find that knowing a little bit about how to describe the weather in Italian is very useful. And, now that the (usually) sun-filled days of summer are here, I’m betting that we all are spending more time than usual talking about the weather.
In a blog from last month, Italian Phrases We Use EVERY Day! How’s the Weather? Fare (Part 3), we learned how to make general statements about if the weather is “good” or “bad” in the present and past tense.
But, what if we want to be more descriptive? In this blog, I list some simple conversational Italian phrases that we can use to describe actual weather conditions. The simple present tense is used in Italian to refer to the near future, when we in English need to insert the word “will” before our action verb. So, the present tense examples that I give in Italian can be used to talk about the weather of the day and to make plans for the immediate future!
Talking about how the weather has been in Italian to describe our day is a bit more tricky, so I’ve listed the identical phrases about the weather in the past tense as well.
Most of the examples in this blog are from my reference book, Conversational Italian for Travelers, Just the Grammar, found on amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com.
The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained at Learn Travel Italian.com.
How to Talk about the Weather in Italian
Common expressions to describe the weather are given below. In Italian, the weather conditions are described in the third person singular, with the reference to “it” left out, as usual. Notice that in Italian the same word means both time and weather – tempo.
|il tempo||the weather|
|Piove.||(It) is raining. / It rains.|
|Viene a piovere.||(It) is going to rain.
(lit. Here comes the rain.)
|tirare||to cast / to throw|
|Tira vento.||(It) is windy.|
|C’è sole.||It is sunny.
(lit. There is sun.)
|C’è nebbia.||It is foggy.
(lit. There is fog.)
|È nuvoloso.||It is cloudy.|
|È sereno.||It is clear.|
|È umido.||It is humid.|
|L’umidità è molto alta oggi.||The humidity is very high today.|
|L’umidità è molto bassa oggi.||The humidity is very low today.|
Common expressions that describe the weather in the past tense use both the imperfetto as well as the passato prossimo.
(Note: Detailed explanations that describe when it is appropriate to use these past tenses in general situations can be found in our Conversational Italian for Travelers textbook and reference book, Conversational Italian for Travelers, Just the Verbs.)
When using the passato prossimo, the verbs piovere, nevicare, and tirare can be conjugated using either avere or essere, as in:
Ieri ha piovuto per due ore. Yesterday, it rained for two hours.
Ieri è piovuto per due ore. Yesterday, it rained for two hours.
The expressions we have already encountered in the first part of this blog are given below again, this time in the imperfetto in the first column and in the passato prossimo in the second column.
Notice the different meanings for each type of past tense.
The words gia (already) and appena (just) are commonly used with the passato prossimo to give additional information.
It was raining.
|Ha già piovuto.
It already rained.
It was snowing.
|Ha appena nevicato.
It has just snowed.
It was windy.
|Ha tirato vento tutto il giorno.
It was windy all day.
|C’era sole.||It was sunny.|
|C’era nebbia.||It was foggy.|
|Era nuvoloso.||It was cloudy.|
|Era sereno.||It was clear.|
|Era umido.||It was humid.|
|L’umidità è stato molto alta oggi.||The humidity was very high today.|
|L’umidità è stato bassa oggi.||The humidity was very low today.|
Can you think of more phrases to talk about the weather in Italian?
Please reply. I’d love to hear from you!
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