Home > Free British Accent Training, Learning Material > British English accent training lesson 18: weather

British English accent training lesson 18: weather

In this lesson I discuss the weather – a very important topic in the UK! Please see the explanations and phonetics below.





Sunny              (SUH-nee)





Chilly              (CHIH-lee)

Nippy              (NIH-pee)






Wind               (wihnd)

Windy             (WIHN-dee)

Rain                 (rayn)








Tornado           (tor-NAY-do)

Hurricane        (HUH-rih-kayn)

We measure the temperature in: Degrees Celsius (duh-GREEZ SEHL-see-yuss)

In the UK, the temperature ranges from about 25 degrees (25 oC) in summer to approximately minus five degrees (-5 oC) in winter. (Colder in Scotland.) It rains a lot.


Weather collocations

Bitterly cold (very cold)

“It was bitterly cold in Cardiff after Christmas.”

Boiling hot (very hot)

“It is rarely boiling hot in the UK.”

Driving rain

“The rain is really driving because of the wind.”

Heavy / hard rain

“It will rain heavily / hard when the storm comes.”

Soft / light rain

“Is the weather bad? No, only some soft / light rain.”

Blowing wind

“The wind is blowing so much it’s hard to walk outside!”

Strong wind

“The wind is very strong. Hold on to your umbrella!”

Raining cats and dogs = raining very hard

I don’t know why we use this expression. It really does not make sense, I know.

“Is it a storm out there?” “Must be – it’s raining cats and dogs!”

Here are some colloquial expressions involving clouds:

Head in the clouds

If someone is being crazy and unrealistic, they have their “head in the clouds”:

“That guy’s constantly talking rubbish. He’s always got his head in the clouds.”

On cloud nine

If someone is “on cloud nine”, they are absolutely delighted about something:

“He’s been on cloud nine ever since she said she’d go out with him.”

Every cloud has a silver lining

This is a type of proverb which means a problem or bad situation has a positive aspect:

“I was really upset when she broke up with me, but I enjoy having more time to myself.”

“Well, you know that every cloud has a silver lining.”

“She lost her job but soon found something else she enjoyed doing.” “There’s your silver lining, then.”

Recent news from the US has reminded us of the serious implications that weather can have. Please read here for an overview of the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

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