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Talking about the weather with il fait

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

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Il fait froid
It is cold (outside)



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)


Q&A

Paul

Kwiziq community member

26 January 2018

2 replies

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.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

26 January 2018

26/01/18

Bonjour Paul !


1. Il fait mal doesn't exist at all in this context :slightly_smiling_face:
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 !

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

26 January 2018

26/01/18

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.

Yulia

Kwiziq community member

4 December 2017

1 reply

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)

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 December 2017

4/12/17

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).

Melisa

Kwiziq community member

24 September 2017

1 reply

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?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

24 September 2017

24/09/17

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



Susan

Kwiziq community member

7 October 2016

1 reply

il fait les devoirs.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

11 October 2016

11/10/16

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!

vishal

Kwiziq community member

9 June 2016

2 replies

il fait du revision...

is it correct?

Jim

Kwiziq community member

10 June 2016

10/06/16

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"

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 June 2016

10/06/16

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 !

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