1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "It is windy."

"It is windy."

Translation:Il y a du vent.

March 28, 2018

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonaldAlas

I've been taught "Il fait du vent" since primary school. Apparently both are acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

I'm very surprised (as a French native speaker) that it can have been taught as correct.
May I ask if it was French from France (or Canada? or somewhere else) you have been taught? Because it could be a difference between French regionalisms, who knows.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonaldAlas

Standard Parisian French. "Il fait du vent" is the form that millions of British schoolchildren have been taught for generations, and it has come as a great surprise to learn after all these years that it's so marginal that some French speakers judge it to be completely wrong.

From a website: "8. Il fait du vent. — It’s windy. Note: This can also be said as il y a du vent, and usage depends on region and age. Ask your French-speaking friends how they say it’s windy!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Standard Parisian French. "Il fait du vent" [...] Ask your French-speaking friends how they say it’s windy!"

Yes, I ask to myself (Parisian, living there my whole life) and the answer is that you don't say it like that, I never heard anyone saying it like that (except for children making errors while learning their language).
Sitesurf, another French native speaker agrees, and all the French native speakers I asked (already 3, not all Parisian) agree.

It's news to the Parisian that I am that it's standard Parisian French...

From a website

Which website?
In case it's a collaborative one, remember that collaborative ones are risky to trust.
Edit (5min later, as I found the website): The webpage is that one and doesn't seem to be written by a French native speaker(°).

and age

This is an important part of the note.
It can indeed be said by children, who make mistakes while they learn their mother tongue.


(°) the author lived in Paris "for decades"


2nd EDIT.

It's interesting to see that a Google research with criteria

  • on French pages (hl=fr),
  • book published during XX and XXI centuries and now (tbm=bks and tbs=cd_min:1900,cd_max:2099)

returns (if you omit reedition/republication of documents first published before XX century)

So it seems it has indeed been (and still is) widely taught to English speakers...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonaldAlas

Ok, if you want a more formal source, both options appear here: http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/vent.

But given that, it would now seem, most speakers judge it to be completely wrong, it's clear that it should indeed not be added as an answer on Duolingo. Time for us to update all of our school textbooks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Ok, if you want a more formal source, both options appear here: http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/vent.

Thx for the link.

Yes, it is also in very old editions of the Académie Française's dictionary.
I'd say the textbooks forgot to update. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ofsthun01

I just put "Il fait du vent" and it was marked wrong. I don't get it. At the very beginning of the lesson they say when saying "It is..." whether its raining, snowing, or what, you use "Il fait..." for weather. Why is this wrong for windy?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicholas_ashley

when talking about the weather in French there are a variety of constructs you can use but they are not always interchangeable. Typically the following guidelines apply:

il fait + non weather specific adjective (beau, mauvais, chaud, froid, humide, frais, sec, doux, etc.)

le temps est + weather specific adjective (nuageux, pluvieux, brumeux, etc.)

il y a + article + noun (brouillard, vent, soleil, nuages, averses, etc.) where the article depends on whether the noun is countable or uncountable

il + verb (pleurer, neiger, geler, etc)

As vent is a masculine uncountable noun you should say il y a du vent


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanMeaneyPL

Thanks, nicholas_ashley. This is a really useful summary of weather-related constructions. I was taught Il fait du vent at school in England, but your summary makes it clear why this is not right, even though it might have been at one time. Have a lingot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Murph909

I think it should be accepted, probably just not added as a correct answer as this section is new to the French tree since they re-worked it. Report it and hopefully it will be added soon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

The Tips could be clarified, I agree, but they don't currently say that you can say "il fait ...." for raining, snowing.
It says

To describe the weather (le temps), we can use the impersonal expression il fait (literally, "it does" or "it makes"). In English, when we say "it is raining" the "it" is not a real subject. This is the same with "il" in French: it is not a real subject. You have encountered something similar to this in the "Phrases" unit: il y a ("there is").

  • Il fait chaud. — It is hot (outside).
  • Il fait froid. — It is cold.
  • Il fait beau. — It is nice out.

There are other French verbs used impersonally to talk about the weather. You will encounter some of them in this lesson.

  • Il pleut. — It is raining.
  • Il neige. — It is snowing.
  • Il gèle. — It is freezing.

I agree it's not clear but they say;

  1. "il fait" is (in some cases) possible.
  2. it explains with the comparison with English what an impersonal ="non real" subject is
  3. reminds that you already encountered such impersonal subject before
  4. gives examples of correct use.

Again, I agree it could the wording could be improved.

Here's how I would formulate the first lines so that they are more clear:

In French, it is common to use verbs like faire ("to do") idiomatically for general conditions such as some statements about weather.

To describe the weather (le temps), we can use for some statements the impersonal expression il fait (literally, "it does" or "it makes").

  • Il fait chaud. — It is hot (outside).
  • Il fait froid. — It is cold.
  • Il fait beau. — It is nice out.

In English, when we say "it is raining" the "it" is not a real subject. This is the same with "il" in French: it is not a real subject. You have encountered something similar to this in the "Phrases" unit: il y a ("there is"). Which is also used for some other statements about weather:

  • Il y a du vent.
  • Il y a de l'orage.

There are other French verbs used impersonally to talk about the weather. You will encounter some of them in this lesson.

  • Il pleut. — It is raining.
  • Il neige. — It is snowing.
  • Il gèle. — It is freezing.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dhll0525

why not" il fait vent"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Because it's not French.
"Il fait vent." and "Il fait du vent." are incorrect ways to formulate it, no other reasons.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmaiaImazBlanco

This feels like saying "there is wind", is there no adjective for windy in French?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

There exists an unused/barely used one: venteux.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryEeg

when I was learning French in High school 50 years ago we said "il fait du vent" for it is windy.....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Please believe us: "Il fait du vent" is très moche (ugly).

"Il fait" is perfect when followed by an adjective, but risky with a noun.

An exception, though: "il fait soleil" (note: no article) is a phrase, but I think it is unique.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmitVaid3

Why is 'il fait vent' wrong WHEREAS 'il fiat froid' accepts it's cool as an answer even on Duolingo!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Because the latter is proper French(°) but not the former. No other reason.
See (and read) all the other comments on this discussion for (some) more information.


(°) to express that the weather is cold


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catherine362321

why "c'est venteux" it is not correct ?!? I confirm "Il fait du vent" is not correct and nobody say that in France !!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"C'est" n'est pas bien utilisé pour la météo. On dira "le temps est venteux" plutôt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catherine362321

On dit bien "c'est nuageux" !! ou " c'est couvert" !!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Some say it but it is improper: "le temps/ciel est nuageux/couvert."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The_Thirteenth

"C'est venteux" should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Le temps est venteux" is correct, as well as "il y a du vent".

"Il fait du vent" is sometimes said in some regions.

"C'est" should not be used to describe the weather.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.