Fa caldissimo! Italian weather words

3rd April 2018

Italians talk about the weather just as much the …


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Contrary to popular belief, Italians talk about the weather just as much the English do, so it’s an essential skill to master. Find out how to talk about the weather in this episode of 5 minute Italian.

To help you remember what you learnt in today's lesson, below you'll find bonus materials like word lists, quizzes and flashcards. But first...

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Bonus Materials

Remember and practice using what you learnt with the bonus materials for today's episode.

Today's Italian words

che tempo fa? = What's the weather like?
che = what
tempo = weather
fa = does
fa caldissimo = it's extremely hot (literally it does hot)
caldo = hot
freddo = cold
fa freddo = it's cold
fa freddissimo = it's extremely cold
gradi = degrees
è = it is
è nuvoloso = it's cloudy
è nuvolosissimo = it's extremely cloudy
piove = it's raining
piove molto = it's raining a lot
nevica = it's snowing
nevica molto = it's snowing a lot
c'è sole = it's sunny (literally there is sun)
c'è molto sole = it's very sunny (literally there is lots of sun).

Take the Quiz!

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Click here to take the quiz for this episode: How to talk about the weather in Italian

Italian flashcards

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Please note: This is not a word-for-word transcript. 

Katie: Contrary to popular belief, Italians talk about the weather just as much as English people do, So it’s an essential skill to master. Find out how to talk about the weather in episode 21 of five minute Italian.

Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 minute Italian, hi everyone and welcome to 5 minute Italian. I’m Katie…

And I’m Matteo. Ciao.

Katie: And in today’s episode we’re going to learn how to talk about the weather in Italian. Which is pretty timely as we’ve got some interesting weather in Milan at the moment. So Matteo, che tempo fa?

Matteo: Fa caldissimo, è molto nuvoloso e piove.

Katie: OK so let’s take that from the beginning. I asked Matteo a question at the beginning: che tempo fa? Can you guess what it means?

Matteo: Che tempo fa means “what’s the weather like?”. Che means what. Tempo means weather and fa means does.

Katie: The direct translation would be something like “what’s the weather doing?” So in Italian, we don’t say "what’s the weather like?". We say “what’s the weather doing” Che tempo fa.

Matteo: Then I said fa caldissimo.

Katie: Caldissimo means extremely hot. You may have come across this -issimo before. In Italian, we use the ending “issimo” to show that something is extreme. For example, bellissimo comes from bello and it means extremely beautiful. We take away the last vowel and we add -issimo. Bellissimo. Coming back to caldissimo, it comes from the word caldo which means "hot". We talk away the o and add issimo, caldissimo, to get “extremely or super hot”.

And here’s a common mistake alert: learners often get confused about the word caldo because it sounds like the word cold - but remember that caldo, in Italian means "hot". So we can say fa caldo (it’s hot) or fa caldissimo it’s super hot. But in previous lessons, we learned that to say “it is” in Italian we say è. Why can’t we say “è caldo” or “è caldissimo”?

Matteo: Because in Italian, we don’t use “is” with temperatures, we use “does”. So we say it does hot. "Does" is fa so we say fa caldo.

Katie: And the same for the opposite. So if cold is freddo how do we say “it’s cold” literally “it does cold”

Matteo: fa freddo.

Katie: And how would you say “it’s super cold”?

Matteo: fa freddissimo

Katie: Right. Which is certainly not the case now! I think it’s around 30 degrees: trenta gradi. So what did you say next, after fa caldissimo?

Matteo: è nuvoloso

Katie: Which means “it’s cloudy”

Matteo: è nuvoloso

Katie: And in è nuvoloso, we see è, which means “it is”. Here we can use “it is” because we’re talking about weather conditions, not temperatures. How would you say super cloudy?

Matteo: è nuvolosissimo.

Katie: è nuvolosissimo. Which is quite a mouthful! What did you say next?

Matteo: Piove.

Katie: Piove. Which means “it’s raining”. To say “a lot” we say molto. So how would you say “it’s raining a lot”?

Matteo: Piove molto.

Katie: Let’s look at a few more weather words. How would you say “it’s snowing?”

Matteo:  Nevica.

Katie: And "it’s snowing a lot"?

Matteo: Nevica molto.

Katie: Finally, to say “it’s sunny,” Italians say “there is sun”. “There is” is c’è and sun is sole. So "there is sun" is:

Matteo: C’è sole.

Katie: And "there’s a lot of sun?"

Matteo: C’è molto sole.

Katie: Great. Let’s do a quick recap. How do you say… “it’s hot”

Matteo: fa caldo.

Katie: it’s super hot?

Matteo: fa caldissimo

Katie: It’s cold?

Matteo: fa freddo.

Katie: it’s super cold?

Matteo: fa freddissimo

Katie: it’s cloudy

Matteo: è nuvoloso

Katie: it’s super cloudy

Matteo: è nuvolosissimo

Katie: It’s sunny (literally there is sun)

Matteo: c’è sole

Katie: It’s raining

Matteo: piove

Katie: it’s snowing

Matteo: nevica.

K: That’s all we have time for today, thanks for listening. And if you’d like to get more mini Italian lessons delivered to your inbox, don’t forget to subscribe by following the link below. Grazie, and ciao for now, see you next time, or as we say in Italian, alla prossima!

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