Common Mistakes With Weather

Over the past few years I’ve been teaching private French lessons via Skype and have heard students make a common mistake about the weather countless times. Normally when talking about the weather you say: “Il fait + ADJECTIVE”. For example, to say it’s cold out you say, “Il fait froid” or to say it’s hot out you say, “Il fait chaud”.

However, there are two common weather expressions where you NEVER say “Il fait”. These are for “it’s raining” and “it’s snowing”. This is because “raining” and “snowing” are verbs, not adjectives. So, to say it’s raining you say, “Il pleut”, which literally means “it rains”. In addition, to say “it’s snowing” you say “Il neige”, or literally “it snows”.

Also note that the word “out” is automatically understood in all of the French weather expressions and doesn’t need to be added. For example, to say “it’s nice out” you simply say, “il fait beau”. You DO NOT need to add the word “dehors” for out or outside (Il fait beau dehors) but you can if you’d like!

If you’d like to get a more in depth look at French weather words and phrases then I strongly recommend looking at Lesson 12 of’s audio course, À Moi Paris 2. Click here to learn more!

The following weather expressions do not take “il fait”. You simply say “il + VERB”:

Il pleut it’s raining
Il neige it’s snowing
Il bruine it’s drizzling
Il grêle it’s hailing

The following weather expressions use “il fait + ADJECTIVE”:

Il fait beau it’s nice out
Il fait bon it’s nice out
Il fait doux it’s mild out
Il fait chaud it’s hot out
Il fait froid it’s cold out
Il fait mauvais it’s not nice out
Il fait frais it’s cool out
Il fait humide it’s humid out
Il fait nuageux it’s cloudy out

The following weather expressions take “il fait + du + NOUN”:

Il fait du vent it’s windy out
Il fait du soleil it’s sunny out
il fait du brouillard it’s foggy out

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