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Talking about the weather

It’s true! British people often start a conversation with strangers and friends by talking about the weather. As weather is a neutral topic of conversation, it’s usually safe to use it to strike up a conversation – at the bus stop, in a shop, or with a neighbour over the garden fence.

Some examples of conversation starters

“Lovely day, isn’t it!”

“Bit nippy today.”

“What strange weather we’re having!”

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to stop raining today.”

Attitude to weather

Although British people like to complain about bad weather, they generally put a brave face on it.

If someone complains about too much rain, you might hear:

“Never mind – it’s good for the garden.”

If someone complains that it’s too hot, you could hear:

“At least my tomatoes will be happy.”

If the conversation has been about general bad weather, perhaps someone will say:

“Well, I’ve heard it’s worse in the west. They’ve had terrible flooding.”

Predicting the weather

We can make predictions about the weather, using a range of forms – not just the “will” or “going to” form:

“I think it’ll clear up later.”

It’s going to rain by the looks of it.”

We’re in for frost tonight.”

They’re expecting snow in the north.”

“I hear that showers are coming our way.”

Human attributes

We also attribute human features to the weather, almost as if the weather can decide what to do:

“The sun’s trying to come out.”

“It’s been trying to rain all morning.”

“It’s finally decided to rain.”

Understanding the forecast

Many British people are keen gardeners, and they keep a close eye on the weather forecast. Here are some of the weather features which can worry gardeners:

a hard frost
blizzard / galeforce conditions
prolonged rain
blustery wind
a drought

Here are some more temperate conditions which gardeners like:

mild weather
sunny spells
light drizzle


June 9, 2008 - Posted by | Learn English - Speaking

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