At last, some vocabulary I recognise from my school French lessons some 40 years ago. Weather seemed quite popular in those days. Funnily enough, not only did we not have much dying to worry about but I also don't remember many clothes getting mentioned. I remember hat (chapeau) but none of the others so far. I'm wondering how we filled five years of study without mentioning food, drink or clothing!
I did up to A-Level French and before that, our pre-GCSE and GCSE French skills were rather holey.
When we did A-Level French, we went to a school where their GCSE students and below were more involved and had a higher grasp than my school's equivalent. But throughout the whole seven years, not once do I recall hearing about a chapeau or manteau, clothes weren't touched on much.
We certainly entered A-Level looking rather uncultivated!
pleuvoir - il pleut - it rains
pleurer - il pleure - he cries
I made the same mistake!
"Il" in french acts as a dummy subject to preserve the sentence structure. It is very much like how we use "it" as a dummy subject in English. For example, if we say "it's raining", "it" doesn't really refer to anything. It's just there to keep the dummy structure intact.
I've learned French with a textbook. And it said that u have to use "fait" to talk about the weather. Is the textbook wrong?
As Rae pointed out, some weather expressions do, in fact, use "fait". However, some do not ("il pleut.")
When we talk about weather CONDITIONS, we use the faire verb:
Il fait froid.
But when speak about tangible PHENOMENA we don't use faire.
At least that's what they taught at school.
Your textbook is not wrong. When talking about weather conditions, you may say "il fait chaud", "il fait "froid". But when it is snowing, on dit "il neige" and when it rains, on dit "il pleut". https://www.thoughtco.com/french-weather-vocabulary-le-temps-1371465
I took French in high school and I distinctly remember being told that "Il pleut." could mean both "It rains." and "He cries." Have I been lied to again?
your memory is wrong i guess, the french form of "he cries" is "Il pleure" with an "e" at the end instead of a "t"
French has no neutral "it". Everything is either "il" (he/it in English) or "elle" (she/it in English).
French is like English in that its grammar requires an overt subject, even if there really isn't anything making the verb happen.
There's more discussion on this page if you'll read the rest of the comments here.
Is this the same as 'he rains' but in context its just 'it rains'. What about 'C'est pleut'?
The "it" in "it's raining" does not refer to a person or a thing, nor does the "il" in "il pleut". The form of referring to the action of weather is impersonal. "Il pleut" = it's raining. There is no "c'est pleut" or "il est pleut".
That would be more along the lines of "This is rain."
"Il pleut" is what's known as the impersonal construction. Also, don't let "il=he/elle=she" throw you off. French really does not have a neuter "it". Depending on grammatical gender, everything, even inanimate objects, are "il" or "elle" where in English we would say "it".
pleurer means "to cry", so "he cries" is "il pleure"
pleuvoir means "to rain", so "it is raining" is "il pleut"
No. For active conditions it's just "il pleut" (it's raining) or "il neige" (it's snowing".
It's only for things like temperature that you use "faire": "Il fait chaud" (it's hot) or "il fait froid" (it's cold).