"There is some sun" would sound improper in English. And "du" doesn't always mean some. For eg: "J'ai du pain." means "I have bread.", but on Duolingo it's "I have some bread", which is debatable, but "du" is usually used before things that are countable. Overall "du" coming before a word doesn't always make it "some insert word here". That's as far as I know about "du". Hope this helped.
"There is sun." sounds a bit strange too. I could say either one in very specific circumstances but it would not be common.
"There is sun." I might say to someone who thought there was no sun today.
A sun peeking between clouds might prompt me to look out the window and say "There is some sun."
Still, I would most often say "It is sunny." or "It is not very sunny."
Yeah, I forgot to mention "There is sun." would also sound improper. And you've made a nice point there, with the sun peeking between the clouds situation. But usually when that happens most English speakers will say it's a bit sunny outside because I've never heard someone say that "There is some sun.", I mean a proper English speaker would say "I can see a bit of sunlight peeking through those clouds" or "I can see some rays of sunshine through those clouds", so "There is some sun" is still debatable.
As far as I know, "Il y a du soleil" and "Il fait soleil" generally mean "It's sunny". I understand since "Il y a" means, there is, people can see it as meaning as "There is sunshine". Generally, "Il y a du soleil" and "Il fait soleil" mean the same thing. What do you think?
So, how would you use "ensoleillement" ?
I think it is more like "a period of sunshine" or "sunlight" in use, there is even a word "insolation" which is a technical term that can be "ensoleillement." https://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/ensoleillement
I would use "There is sunshine." rather than "There is sun." Would you say "Il y a de l'ensoleillement." ? Sometimes words don't exactly translate one to one.
Of course, it is better to say "It's sunny."
The other question has "beaucoup de soleil", with "beaucoup de" (a lot of) standing for the quantity of something, just like "du" technically does. And you would use "du" when the quantity is not determined.
- Il y a du soleil = It's sunny
- Il y a beaucoup de soleil = It's very sunny
You can say "Il fait chaud." for "It's hot out." or better yet "Il fait beau." for "The weather is beautiful.", but "Il y a du soleil." literally means "There is some sun." so don't try to change the French expressions, just memorize them and this one is best translated to "It is sunny."
il fait + adjective
il y a du + noun
I always read "il y a" as "there is", then i read "du soleil" as " some sun".
Why is it in French that seemingly quite explicit sentences, like the French used in this example, can mean multiple things?
In my mind, saying "there is some sun" and "it's sunny" are two distinct sentences, and i might want to say specifically one or the other.
I also used Google Translate to find out the French for specifically "it's sunny" and it returns "Il fait beau". Yet another way of potentially saying the same thing.
Google translate is not always the best translation tool. « Il fait beau. » is translated as “The weather is beautiful.”
Now “It’s sunny.” is « Il y a du soleil » ; just like “I’m hungry.” is « J’ai faim. ». These are expressions that cannot be translated exactly.
Here in California where the weather is “always beautiful”, It is not always sunny. It is most of the time though. Sometimes we don’t think this much sun is actually beautiful. To me a beautiful day is not too hot nor too cold, just perfect. I would say “It is beautiful.” I don’t even bother to say “out” as some sentences here want you to.
Funny isn’t it. That is totally redundant. If it is sunny, we sure don’t mean inside. I understand when they started adding “out” for “outside” in “It is beautiful out.” and “It is bad out.”, because those might refer to other things than the weather. This is just over the top!
If you opened the curtains to let some sun in, we would normally say “Let the sunshine in.” or we could talk about “Rays of sunshine filtering through the blinds”
They are just different expressions for things that in English we may use the same expression for, but in French they are not exchangeable.
« Il y a du soleil. » Notice that a noun follows this expression. We just don’t really say “There is sun.” So, we would most likely say “It is sunny.”
« Il fait beau. » Notice that an adjective follows this other expression. We are likely to say “It is beautiful.” However, since that can refer to so many things other than weather, Duolingo likes you to put “The weather is beautiful.” so that Duolingo knows that you know that the French expression can only be about the weather. If it were about something else, then in French it would be “C’est beau.”