Talking about the weather with il y a

Look at these sentences:

Il y a du soleil
It is sunny

Il y a du vent
It is windy

Il y a du brouillard
It is foggy

Il y a de l'orage
It is stormy

Il y a des nuages
It is cloudy

Il y a de la pluie aujourd'hui.
It's rainy today.

Il y a de la brume.
It's misty.

To talk about the weather in French, you will use Il y a + du / de la / de l' / des  + noun. (Literally: there is some ...).

Note that du / de la / de l' or des agree with the noun following.


Case of il fait du soleil or Il fait soleil: This seems to be presented as idiomatic in a lot of French learning methods, and to be perfectly honest, some French people use it. However, it is not good French and still sounds clunky and child-like to many French ears (including mine!). 
Il fait should always be followed by an adjective, and il y a used with nouns. 


Note that you could also use Le temps est + adjective (ensoleillé, pluvieux, nuageux, brumeux, orageux) instead of using il y a + noun.  
BUT there is no adjective for brouillard (fog), or vent (wind).

See also Talking about the weather with il fait

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Il y a du soleil
It is sunny


Il y a des nuages
It is cloudy


Il y a de l'orage
It is stormy


Il y a de la brume.
It's misty.


Il y a du vent
It is windy


Il y a de la pluie aujourd'hui.
It's rainy today.


Il y a du brouillard
It is foggy



Q&A

Nhu

Kwiziq community member

2 October 2018

1 reply

Adjective of "vent"

Hello, I was wondering if "venteux" is accepted as an adjective that you can use with "le temps est + adjective" 

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

3 October 2018

3/10/18

Hi Nhu,

I would not use 'venteux' to talk about the weather.

You can say, 'Il vente' ( like:  il pleut or il neige ) but it is very formal.

Il fait du vent 

or even,

il y a du vent aujourd'hui

is also possible ...

'Venteux' is used as an adjective to talk about something which is 'subject to wind'.

e.g.

Cette plage /cette saison est très venteuse This beach/this season  is very windy

Les haricots sont venteux = Beans give you wind ( flatulence) 

Hope this helps!

 

mar

Kwiziq community member

27 January 2018

3 replies

what happened to the microquizzes? I found them really helpful before. thanks!

Bernadette

Kwiziq community member

29 January 2018

29/01/18

I am wondering the same thing...

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

30 January 2018

30/01/18

Bonjour Mar and Bernadette ! We had some issues with the microkwizzes which unfortunately meant that we have had to remove that feature temporarily. We are looking at how to properly implement the feature as we are aware they were popular. In the meantime, as a workaround: to quiz on a single lesson you can use the "Add to notebook" button and kwiz against the notebook - each kwiz will select a different question each time. Sorry for the inconvenience. Bonne journée !

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

16 February 2018

16/02/18

You'll be pleased to know micro kwizzes have been restored. You can read more here:

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/blog/micro-kwizzes-back/

 

 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 January 2018

3 replies

Il fait vent or Il y a du vent

Hello Kwiziq staff, I read your paragraph about the use of "Il fait ___" being idiomatic and somewhat clunky-sounding. For me, I have been instructed to say "Il fait vent" more times than I can remember (and is found in The Ultimate French Review and Practice, Premium 3rd Edition as a standard weather expression) and have not heard of "Il y a du vent" yet in my studies before encountering this question on your website.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 January 2018

4/01/18

Sorry, the post submitted before I finished typing. Just wanted to ask if it's really "wrong" to say "il fait vent" when it seems to be so widely accepted in the language, and not just idiomatically. I really appreciate your website and I believe it's noticeably helping me to improve my French. Je vous remercie!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

4 January 2018

4/01/18

Hi Chris,

Il fait vent is not correct - 'Il fait du vent 'is correct and it means the same as 'il y a du vent'.

Glad you like the site, thanks for the feedback!

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 January 2018

4/01/18

I'm sorry, yes I meant "Il fait du vent." I posted just before going to bed. ;) Thanks so much for your response!

Graham

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

4 replies

Hi. If I was describing the day or night, how would you say, "It is a cold foggy night"?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

9/10/17

Bonjour Graham, There are a couple of possibilities with this locution: C’est une nuit de brouillard froide La nuit fait froide et il y a du brouillard. C'est une nuit qui fait froide et il y a du brouillard. Now, I may be out in the cold (no pun intended) with these and if so, I would hope the kwiziq team provides a more suitable explanation Bonne chance.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

9/10/17

There is also another locution that might be more appropriate: C'est une nuit froide et brumeuse Like I indicated earlier, there are multiple locutions possible to explain that. I have heard said that the French love to discuss the weather and, as such, I have noticed that there are many ways to state things about the weather, i.e. il fait. . ., il y a . . ., etc. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017

17/10/17

A quick note on the weather, there are generally three patterns to use: 1) Il fait beau/froid/chaud/etc. 2) Il y a du soleil, du vent, du bruillard, etc. 3) C'est ensoleillé, venteux, nuageux, etc. -- Chris (no native speaker).

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

6 October 2018

6/10/18

iI Graham,

I like: 

C'est une nuit froide et brumeuse.

Hope this helps!

Graham

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

1 reply

Ron

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

9/10/17

Please review the previous response. Bonne chance.

Lisa

Kwiziq community member

17 August 2017

1 reply

Il pleut

Is that a thing?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

17 August 2017

17/08/17

Bonjour Lisa !

Oui, absolument !
To say "it's raining", you will use the verb pleuvoir (to rain) in French, with the impersonal pronoun Il:
Il pleut (it's raining)
Il pleuvait (it was raining)
Il a plu (it rained)
Il pleuvra (it will rain)
etc

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

William

Kwiziq community member

25 May 2017

1 reply

Weather is confusing in French for English speakers

It is cloudy (adj) translates into French as Il y a des nuages (noun) or Il fait nuageux (adj). English seems to only use the adjective? Thoughts.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

29 May 2017

29/05/17

Bonjour William ! Actually, in French you won't use "il fait" with specific adjectives likes "nuageux". Instead you'll say: "C'est nuageux aujourd'hui." or as you said "Il y a des nuages aujourd'hui." Bonne journée !

Ron

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2016

1 reply

Can I also use the future tense: Il y aura des nuages

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

17 October 2016

17/10/16

Bonjour Ron, Yes, you can use il y a in any tense by changing the conjugation of "a" accordingly.

Andy

Kwiziq community member

15 June 2016

2 replies

Weather adjectives

With the adjectives given above (ensoleillé, pluvieux, nuageux, brumeux, orageux) would it be appropriate to use the Il fait + [adjective] form with these, or is only the Le temps est [adjective] form used? Thank-you.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

17 June 2016

17/06/16

Bonjour Andy, You can indeed use the expression "Il fait" + adjective with these adjectives: "Il fait pluvieux, nuageux, brumeux, orageux" BUT I wouldn't use it with "ensoleillé" though: I would say: "Le temps est ensoleillé" or "C'est ensoleillé aujourd'hui". Voilà! I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Daniel

Kwiziq community member

9 August 2017

9/08/17

Aurélie, you should then correct one of your previous replies where you said " Actually, in French you won't use il fait with specific adjectives likes nuageux..."

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level

Share the love!

Getting that for you now.