Talking about the weather with il y a + [noun]

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 + [adjective]

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

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



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


Q&A Forum 16 questions, 35 answers

ChapelA2Kwiziq community member

Il fait should always be followed by an adjective, and il y a used with nouns.

I am confused by the weather lessons, and the rule above in particular. 

All of the examples of “il y a” in this lesson include adjectives, not nouns.  “Sunny,” “windy” etc. are adjectives. 

On the other hand, it seems to have been established that “il fait” is often not appropriate when there is an adjective, because it sounds childish.  So, that also does not fit the rule.

From this lesson, it seems like the rule never holds true. 

Suggestions:

1.  My suggestion is to remove that rule from this lesson altogether, because it is creating confusion.  If you remove it, we are left with the general rule that “To talk about the weather in French, you will use Il y a + du / de la / de l' / des  + noun.”   Maybe it makes sense to remove the noun reference there too, and replace it with [weather condition]? 

2.  If you click the link to the lesson about “il fait + [adjective]” it states that “to talk about the weather in French, you will use the fixed expression “il fait + [adjective]”.  This statement is directly contradictory to the lesson that says  “To talk about the weather in French, you will use ‘Il y a…’”  They have the same lead-in phrase, but come to different conclusions.

***

For my own use, I’m trying to decide if I should be using “il y a” all the time with weather, and avoiding “il fait” altogether…

OR

Using “il fait” only when I am talking about the quality of the weather (good or bad) or the temperature (hot or cold), but using “il y a” at all other times. 

Thank you.
Asked 1 month ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

I still don't understand what's wrong with the rule that you either use:

1) Il fait + adjective, or
2) Il y a + noun.

In both corresponding lessons it clearly says that "Il fait (du) soleil" is an exception, sounds childish and shouldn't be used.

You write: (quote) On the other hand, it seems to have been established that “il fait” is often not appropriate when there is an adjective, because it sounds childish.  So, that also does not fit the rule. (unquote)

Where did you get that information? So il fait froid should not be used??? I hear it said all the time.

MillerB1Kwiziq community member

You're looking at the English translations, but the original French. In English we almost always use adjectives with weather.

Il fait should always be followed by an adjective, and il y a used with nouns.

I am confused by the weather lessons, and the rule above in particular. 

All of the examples of “il y a” in this lesson include adjectives, not nouns.  “Sunny,” “windy” etc. are adjectives. 

On the other hand, it seems to have been established that “il fait” is often not appropriate when there is an adjective, because it sounds childish.  So, that also does not fit the rule.

From this lesson, it seems like the rule never holds true. 

Suggestions:

1.  My suggestion is to remove that rule from this lesson altogether, because it is creating confusion.  If you remove it, we are left with the general rule that “To talk about the weather in French, you will use Il y a + du / de la / de l' / des  + noun.”   Maybe it makes sense to remove the noun reference there too, and replace it with [weather condition]? 

2.  If you click the link to the lesson about “il fait + [adjective]” it states that “to talk about the weather in French, you will use the fixed expression “il fait + [adjective]”.  This statement is directly contradictory to the lesson that says  “To talk about the weather in French, you will use ‘Il y a…’”  They have the same lead-in phrase, but come to different conclusions.

***

For my own use, I’m trying to decide if I should be using “il y a” all the time with weather, and avoiding “il fait” altogether…

OR

Using “il fait” only when I am talking about the quality of the weather (good or bad) or the temperature (hot or cold), but using “il y a” at all other times. 

Thank you.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

AlexanderA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"Il fait should always be followed by an adjective, and il y a used with nouns."

Asked 7 months ago
AlexanderA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributorCorrect answer

Ah...

Ignore me actually :-|

I've just read the explanation again and it says:

"Case of il fait du soleil or Il fait soleil: This seems to be presented as idiomatic in a lot of French learning methods,"

I missed that is is an idiom before, sorry!

AlexanderA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

So why would one say "Il fait soleil", as soleil is a noun ?

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Where did you see that sentence?

"Il fait should always be followed by an adjective, and il y a used with nouns."

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

BizainakhamisA1Kwiziq community member

how can i say that there is rainy and sun

Asked 8 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Bizainakhamis,

 You could say -

'Il pleut et il fait soleil en même temps.'

 

BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

But isn't the use of "...il fait soleil" one of the phrases (the other being "Il fait du soleil.") that is incorrect and should be replaced (if you will) with "Il y a..." [+ noun] ? I think I read another answer from Cécile that uses the "Il fait... [+partitive +noun]. Is this a regional difference, or a formal/informal/colloquial  difference? I have told my students that -- even though examples can be found in multiple texts/guides in my classroom -- "Il fait du soleil.", "Il fait du vent.", etc are absolutely incorrect and sound "strange" to native French speakers. If they shouldn't be used, why are they given as possible answers by Kwiziq staff in this thread? Je ne comprends pas...

how can i say that there is rainy and sun

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

KristinA1Kwiziq community member

How do you say it was cloudy (past tense)?

Asked 8 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Assuming that the statement is in a context where the imparfait is needed:

Il faisait nuageux.Il y avait des nuages.

KristinA1Kwiziq community member

Thanks!

ANGELOSA1Kwiziq community member

Il faisait nuages

How do you say it was cloudy (past tense)?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

SagarB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Should one always use "Il y a" when describing the weather?

I know certain kinds of weather are expressed with a direct verb, like:

* il pleut

* il neige

* il tonne

But there seems to be multiple ways of describing other kinds of weather, like "it's sunny." I've heard:

* il y a du soleil (which is the example in this lesson)

but also:

* c'est ensoleillé

I've heard both:

* il y a des nuages

as well as:

* c’est nuageux

Are all these versions correct? Is one preferred or in more common use than the other?Thanks!

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Sagar,

They are all possible and correct... do no forget the use ‘il fait’ also to express the weather as in the following lesson -

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/talking-about-the-weather-expressions-with-il-fait

 

SagarB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci, Cécile !

Should one always use "Il y a" when describing the weather?

I know certain kinds of weather are expressed with a direct verb, like:

* il pleut

* il neige

* il tonne

But there seems to be multiple ways of describing other kinds of weather, like "it's sunny." I've heard:

* il y a du soleil (which is the example in this lesson)

but also:

* c'est ensoleillé

I've heard both:

* il y a des nuages

as well as:

* c’est nuageux

Are all these versions correct? Is one preferred or in more common use than the other?Thanks!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

suggestion: lesson title could be improved if add (+noun)

I think the lesson title could be improved if this was added (+ noun). Just a suggestion, merci!

Asked 11 months ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Robin !

Thank you for that great suggestion! I've now uodated the lesson title, as well as this "sister" lesson : "Talking about the weather with il fait + [adjective]"

Merci et Bonne Année !

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Bonjour and thank you so much!  I would understand if you chose not to update the title, yet I am so pleased you have, because I look at the titles as I am studying a lesson to help me better comprehend concepts.   Sometimes I might have trouble grasping concept of a particular lesson, but then I take another look at the title which helps me with my comprehension. 

Robin asked:View original

suggestion: lesson title could be improved if add (+noun)

I think the lesson title could be improved if this was added (+ noun). Just a suggestion, merci!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

NignuoyC1Kwiziq community member

Difference between brouillard & brumeux?

Besides brouillard being a noun and brumeux being an adjective, how are the two different? It says in the lesson that there is no adjective for brouillard (fog), but a search on word reference shows that brumeux means foggy. How come it says there is no adjective for brouillard then?
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Nignuoy !

"brumeux" means "misty"  :)

Bonne journée !

Nignuoy asked:View original

Difference between brouillard & brumeux?

Besides brouillard being a noun and brumeux being an adjective, how are the two different? It says in the lesson that there is no adjective for brouillard (fog), but a search on word reference shows that brumeux means foggy. How come it says there is no adjective for brouillard then?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

NhuA2Kwiziq community member

Adjective of "vent"

Hello, I was wondering if "venteux" is accepted as an adjective that you can use with "le temps est + adjective" 
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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!

 

MillerB1Kwiziq community member

Les haricots sont venteux is the funniest thing I've learned in French in a while. Ha! Merci.

Adjective of "vent"

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

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MarA2Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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

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

 

 

BernadetteA2Kwiziq community member
I am wondering the same thing...
AurélieKwiziq team member
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 !
Mar asked:View original

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

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

ChrisB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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.
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
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!
CécileKwiziq team member

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!

ChrisB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I'm sorry, yes I meant "Il fait du vent." I posted just before going to bed. ;) Thanks so much for your response!

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.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

GrahamC1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

iI Graham,

I like: 

C'est une nuit froide et brumeuse.

Hope this helps!

RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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.
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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).
JolieB2Kwiziq community member

But then Aurélie said (in earlier response) brumeux meant misty, not foggy.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Jolie,

In fact brume and brouillard are according to weather experts the same phenomenon but with different levels of thickness and visibility.

Furthermore brouillard has no adjective, but brume does.

It is always difficult to translate accurately different weather systems from one language to another as one particular sentence or atmospheric phenomenon may not have an exact equivalent  in the other language or country so it will often be an approximation.

In countries where it snows a lot they have upwards of 50 words to describe what we generally know as sleet or snow in Europe...

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

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

GrahamC1Kwiziq community member

Hi

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Please review the previous response. Bonne chance.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

LisaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Il pleut

Is that a thing?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
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 !

Il pleut

Is that a thing?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

WilliamC1Kwiziq community member

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.
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
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 !

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.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

RonA2Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Ron, Yes, you can use il y a in any tense by changing the conjugation of "a" accordingly.

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

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

AndyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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.
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
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 !
DanielA2Kwiziq community member
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..."

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.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Getting that for you now.