Unit 16: What's the weather like?
Using 'may', 'might' and 'could'
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What's the weather like where you live? In this session we take a look at weather forecasting and learn some useful vocabulary for talking about the weather.
Windy, snowy, wet, hot - how do you describe the weather? The British love to talk about it so there's no surprise there are many words you can use. Rob and Catherine are here to help you in this week's 6 Minute Vocabulary.
Listen to the audio
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I'm Rob...
And I'm Catherine. And our topic today is weather. Now Rob, apparently, British people love to talk about the weather. Do you think that's true?
Absolutely, you know me, I'm talking about it all the time. And in today's programme, we'll look at some key weather vocabulary and show you how to use it in different types of sentences.
There'll be a quiz...
And we'll give you a top tip to help you learn vocabulary more effectively.
So, on with the show! We'll start by listening to Harvey, talking about the weather where he lives. And we have a question for you at home.
The question is: what is the weather like for Harvey in spring?
I live in the north. I love it here, but the weather isn't too good. There's a lot of rain in the autumn and winter. In fact, it's raining right now. Sometimes it snows in the winter. In the spring the weather's usually quite windy. But it's lovely and sunny in summer.
So, that's Harvey. And we asked you about the weather in spring. What's it like?
Harvey said that the weather gets quite windy in spring.
Well done if you got that right. And we'll talk more about windy weather later. First, let's talk about the rain! Listen to this clip:
There's a lot of rain in the autumn and winter.
In this sentence, rain is a noun, so in a sentence, we can say there is a lot of rain, or we can add a main verb, for example: I like rain. Rob - how do you feel about rain?
I hate rain because I like to do a lot of cycling and when it rains I get wet. But the word rain can also be a verb. For example: it rains a lot here in London; in fact, look out the window: it's raining now!
It's always raining in London! And can add a letter 'y' to the end of rain to make the adjective rainy. Rob, do you use an umbrella on rainy days?
No I don't, I wear a coat - more practical.
More 'blokey', yes. So that's the noun - rain; the verb - rain; and the adjective - rainy. The word snow works in the same way. Listen to this another clip.
Sometimes it snows in the winter.
Sometimes it snows in winter. The word snow there is a verb.
As a noun, we can say: sometimes there is snow.
Or we can add the letter 'y' to make an adjective. Sometimes it's snowy.
Good. Now for another clip. Here's Harvey talking about the weather in Spring.
In the spring the weather's usually quite windy.
In the spring the weather's usually quite windy. In this sentence, windy is an adjective.
We can also use the word wind as a noun. Is there much wind today Catherine?
There's quite a lot actually, I got quite blown around. So that's wind as a noun and windy as an adjective, but we can't use wind as a verb. You have to use a different verb like blow. The wind is blowing very hard today...
Right. And the word sun is the same. It's a noun:
The sun is hot...
It can make an adjective:
It's lovely and sunny...
But it isn't a verb. You need a different word for that.
The sun is shining, even though it isn't!
6 Minute Vocabulary from BBC Learning English.
And we're looking at weather words. OK, it's quiz time! Are these sentences correct or wrong? Number one. It's sunning today.
That's wrong. You can't say it's sunning, because sun isn't a verb. Instead, say it's sunny or the sun is shining.
Number two. There was a lot of snow last week.
And that's correct.
Here comes the last one. I don't like windy.
And that's also wrong. Windy is an adjective, so we need to add a noun here. Say: I don't like windy weather. Or, use wind as a noun and say: I don't like wind.
And that's the end of the quiz. Well done if you got those right. And we've just got time for a top tip for learning vocabulary.
We have Rob, and this is it: when you learn a new word for the first time, you'll learn it more effectively if you use it a few times in the first 24 hours. So, if you learn a new word in the morning Rob, look it up again in the evening before you go to sleep.
I'll do that. Thank you! There's more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again soon for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.
End of Session 1
That's it for Session 1. We hope you feel more confident about talking about the weather and know that predicting – or forecasting – it can be, well, unpredictable! That's why in Session 2 we'll be explaining how to use the words may, might and could for probable and future situations. See you there!
Vocabulary points to take away
noun - verb - adjective
rain - rain - rainy
There is a lot of rain; It rains a lot; It's very rainy
snow - snow - snowy
There is a bit of snow; It snows in winter; It's a bit snowy
wind - blow - windy
I don't like wind; The wind blew the trees over; It's always windy
sun - shine - sunny
The sun is hot today; I wear sunglasses when the sun shines; It's sunny today