Talking about the weather with il fait + [adjective]

Look at these sentences:

Il fait beau.
The weather is nice.

Il fait mauvais
The weather is bad

Il fait froid
It is cold (outside)

Il fait chaud
It is hot (outside)

Il fait bon.
The weather is nice. 

Notice that to talk about the weather in French, you will use the fixed expression :

Il fait + [adjective]

(In that case, it literally means "it makes/does...")

BUT 
You would NEVER say Le temps fait bon.

ATTENTION: 
You cannot say C'est chaud about the weather, but you can about something you touch or taste (like a cup of tea)!

Nuance between il fait beau and il fait bon:

Il fait beau describes more how the weather looks nice (blue sky, sunny...)
whereas Il fait bon is more about how the weather is/feels  (temperature), meaning not too hot nor too cold: "It is warm". 

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.

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

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


Il fait beau.
The weather is nice.


Il fait mauvais
The weather is bad


Il fait bon.
The weather is nice. 


Il fait chaud
It is hot (outside)


Il fait froid
It is cold (outside)


Q&A Forum 11 questions, 20 answers

AlanA1Kwiziq community member

Why are the example sentences presented in the sequence French to English?

All the tests, quizzes, and writing practice in Kwiziq require the student to enter some French text - never English text. That's exactly what I need, and what I paid for.

When I'm listening to - or reading - everyday French, I can understand a reasonable amount. But my big problem is composing French sentences. (That's why I like the Writing Practice.)

The example sentences in each lesson are excellent. They are short, and to the point. On some sites, the example sentences are  so long that the key words are lost somewhere in the middle of a long sentence - because the longer the sentence, the more useful vocab you will learn for your dollar. Right? 

But just recently, I've been wondering why the example sentences in each lesson are presented in the sequence French-to-English. For example, at the top of this page:

 - Il fait beau.
 - The weather is nice.

As a result, if I want to test myself on those examples, I use a card to hide the text, and start at the foot of the examples and work upwards. If the examples were English-to-French, I could simply work down the page.

Is there any specific reason for presenting the French first?

Thanks.

Asked 3 months agoexamples, English-to-French
RowenB1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Alan - I've sent you an email to follow-up with this, as your question is more of a system/process query than language support, so I can better help you via an email thread. 

Why are the example sentences presented in the sequence French to English?

All the tests, quizzes, and writing practice in Kwiziq require the student to enter some French text - never English text. That's exactly what I need, and what I paid for.

When I'm listening to - or reading - everyday French, I can understand a reasonable amount. But my big problem is composing French sentences. (That's why I like the Writing Practice.)

The example sentences in each lesson are excellent. They are short, and to the point. On some sites, the example sentences are  so long that the key words are lost somewhere in the middle of a long sentence - because the longer the sentence, the more useful vocab you will learn for your dollar. Right? 

But just recently, I've been wondering why the example sentences in each lesson are presented in the sequence French-to-English. For example, at the top of this page:

 - Il fait beau.
 - The weather is nice.

As a result, if I want to test myself on those examples, I use a card to hide the text, and start at the foot of the examples and work upwards. If the examples were English-to-French, I could simply work down the page.

Is there any specific reason for presenting the French first?

Thanks.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

M OKwiziq community member

weather

can you say: c'est nageaux, to say it's cloudy, or can only use il y des nuages?

Asked 4 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi M O,

You can also say -

Le temps/le ciel est nuageux aujourd’hui = The weather/ the sky is cloudy today  

But not ‘c’est nuageux‘ il will be ‘il fait nuageux’ as Chris said, for ‘It’s cloudy’.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I would say il fait nuageux instead of c'est nuageux.

weather

can you say: c'est nageaux, to say it's cloudy, or can only use il y des nuages?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

ValerieA1Kwiziq community member

My quiz today asked how to say It is hot. Yes, it’s “I’ll fait chaud”. But what about the idiomatic with avoir? Can’t it also be “Il a chaud”?

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Just to add -

You can say of a person -

Il/Elle a chaud = He/she is hot ( temperature)

or even of yourself ,

J'ai chaud = I am hot

but not for the weather which is -

Il fait chaud! It's hot!

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Il a chaud doesn’t work in French.
ValerieA1Kwiziq community member

Merci, Chris. I realized right as I hit send why it doesn’t apply!

My quiz today asked how to say It is hot. Yes, it’s “I’ll fait chaud”. But what about the idiomatic with avoir? Can’t it also be “Il a chaud”?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

DennisA1Kwiziq community member

In my quiz today where is the word for "warm"? I thought bon was good or nice. I used Il y a and I felt the question was used to trick someone.

Asked 10 months ago
GruffKwiziq team member

Hi Dennis - this is explained in the lesson above.

In my quiz today where is the word for "warm"? I thought bon was good or nice. I used Il y a and I felt the question was used to trick someone.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

PaolaA1Kwiziq community member

What is the difference between "Il fait beau" and "Il fait bon"?

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Paola,

If I may add to Varsha's excellent answer -

I would say that 'il fait beauis how the weather looks to you, sunny, blue skies etc..

'Il fait bon' is how it feels to you, temperature etc ...

Hope this helps!

ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Paola,

If you look at the end of the lesson , the difference between the two is quite imminent.

1.Il fait beau- used when one has to describe how the weather looks (nice)

2.Il fait bon - used when one has to say how the weather is/feels (according to your opinion) as neither too hot nor too cold.

The latter is used in the sense "It is warm"

Hope this helps!

ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Merci Madame Cécile  pour la clarification

What is the difference between "Il fait beau" and "Il fait bon"?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

OlgaA2Kwiziq community member

Didn't get it with "soleil"

So, I didn't get it: Are they both incorrect, il fait du soleil and il fait soleil, or just one of them? I guess, both, 'cause I think what I learned was "il y a du soleil", but I just need to make sure. Thanks!
Asked 1 year ago
SteveB2 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Olga,

Yes I think they are both incorrect:

"Il fait should always be followed by an adjective".

An adjective is an attribute of a noun. When applied to weather, this effectively means words like nice, bad, hot, cold (as shown in the "il fait" examples on that page).

The two "soleil" examples show "il fait" being followed by a noun (soleil) and a partitive article (du).

OlgaA2Kwiziq community member
Thank you, Steve!
MillerA2Kwiziq community member

So is "il fait ensoleillé " okay? Or is it okay but not common?

Didn't get it with "soleil"

So, I didn't get it: Are they both incorrect, il fait du soleil and il fait soleil, or just one of them? I guess, both, 'cause I think what I learned was "il y a du soleil", but I just need to make sure. Thanks!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

PaulC1Kwiziq community member

Is it cold?

I've tried a couple of alternative ways to say this other than the stock "Il fait froid". I know they are not listed as alternatives, but are mine correct. 1. Il fait mal, can you say this as "Il fait bon" means it's warm/hot? 2 In my experience most native speakers I have met would usually say "Il ne fait pas chaud", or some highly contracted form.
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Paul !

1. Il fait mal doesn't exist at all in this context
The only meaning of the phrase on its own would be He hurts.

See https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/faire-mal-a-vs-faire-du-mal-a-to-hurt-someone

or 
Il fait mal [quelque chose]He's doing [something] wrong.

2. Il ne fait pas chaud has indeed a similar meaning to il fait froid, i.e. It's not warm.
Though the meaning is close, these are two different sentences, in French as in English.

I hope that's helpful!

Bonne journée !

GruffKwiziq team member
Hi Paul - you can't say "Il fait mal" for weather, as Aurélie has explained, but you can say "Il fait mauvais", in case that wasn't clear (it is actually one of the examples listed in the lesson, but at the end so you may have missed it.

Is it cold?

I've tried a couple of alternative ways to say this other than the stock "Il fait froid". I know they are not listed as alternatives, but are mine correct. 1. Il fait mal, can you say this as "Il fait bon" means it's warm/hot? 2 In my experience most native speakers I have met would usually say "Il ne fait pas chaud", or some highly contracted form.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

YuliaA1Kwiziq community member

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

But what's about "il fait un froid de canard" - un froid - it is noun or I'am wrong? This sentence sounds wierd also or not? ( I'm apologize for mistakes these language are not my native)
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
Well, that rule is a good starting point but there are many French idioms which go against it, as you have discovered yourself. Here are some:

Il fait un temps de chien
-- The weather is shitty.
Il fait un soleil de plomb -- A searing/scorching sun.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

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

But what's about "il fait un froid de canard" - un froid - it is noun or I'am wrong? This sentence sounds wierd also or not? ( I'm apologize for mistakes these language are not my native)

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MelisaA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

What about for indoor temperature?

If "Il fait chaud" is only for outside, how would you say, "It is hot" when indoors, meaning the temperature of the room you are in?
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Melisa, «Il fait chaud» is French for it is hot, whether indoors or outdoors. Here is a link to thoughtco which is also written by Laura: https://www.thoughtco.com/french-weather-vocabulary-le-temps-1371465 and of course by Aurélie that is noted with your question above. My French teacher uses the same expressions whether we are in the classroom or outdoors to express the observation about the weather, le temps or the weather forecast, la météo. To the best of my knowledge, there is NOT a separate vocabulary for discussing the temperature inside a building; however, there may be some expressions that are unique to being inside since the wind isn't blowing indoors, il ne fait pas du vent à l'intérieur. 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
Melisa asked:View original

What about for indoor temperature?

If "Il fait chaud" is only for outside, how would you say, "It is hot" when indoors, meaning the temperature of the room you are in?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

SusanA1Kwiziq community member

il fait les devoirs.

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Susan ! "Il fait les devoirs" means "He does the homework", which sounds a bit weird in both languages. Rather "Il fait ses devoirs." (He does his homework). I hope that's helpful!

il fait les devoirs.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

VishalA1Kwiziq community member

il fait du revision...

is it correct?
Asked 3 years ago
JimC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hello Vishal. Could you explain a little more about what you are wanting to express with some context? Are you wanting to express something like "He is doing some revision" If so then you need to write "Il fait de la révision" or maybe "Il est en train de réviser"
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Vishal !

Hum, I'm sorry but your sentence doesn't make sense in French :)

If you meant to say "He's doing revisions / He's revising", the French would be:
Il fait ses révisions, or more colloquially  
Il révise.

If that's not what you meant, please expand, and I'd be happy to help!
À bientôt !

il fait du revision...

is it correct?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Let me take a look at that...