"It is sunny and windy."
Translation:Il y a du soleil et du vent.
when talking about the weather in French there are a variety of constructs you can use. 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)
to refer to an unspecified quantity of something countable you use the following indefinite articles un(e) and des.
il y a une tasse dans le placard. - there is a cup in the cupboard
il y a un homme dans ma maison. - There is a man in my house
Il y a des fraises dans le frigo. - There are some strawberries in the fridge
to refer to an unspecified quantity of something uncountable you use the following partitive articles:
du for masculine nouns
de la for feminine uncountable nouns
de l' for masculine and feminine nouns beginning with a vowel
J'ai du buerre. - I have some butter.
Il y a du buerre dans le frigo - There is some butter in the fridge
Voulez-vous de la bière? - Would you like some beer ?
Je dois boire de l'eau. - I need to drink some water.
Il y a de l'or. - There is some gold.
From what I've found, Il fait du soleil is rather common, though idiomatic, but il fait du vent is very regional - it seems to be more common in the south of France.
I'm happy to see this discussion. My high school French textbook (from the 1990s) taught those phrases as il fait du soleil and il fait du vent. I'm happy to learn the more generally accepted versions, though, which I hadn't heard till I came here. Good times. Thanks to you both.
Idk if my understanding is right, this works like the phrase « avoir peur de » (i.e: J'ai peur des chiens — literally: I have fear of dogs <I'm afraid of dogs>)
In the same analogy, if the weather is -y (or has a lot of mass noun) like sunny, windy, stormy, snowy, you have to use « il y a » (there is) to inidicate the presence of those elements in the weather.
This was well explained by Sitesurf in this thread:
"Il y a" states what you can sense: il y a du brouillard (fog), de la pluie (rain), de la neige (snow), de l'orage (storm)... These require the partitive articles "du, de la, de l'" because these nouns are uncountable.
"Il fait" is followed by an adjective: il fait chaud, froid, bon, doux, humide...
I think Duo needs to work on the "weather" part. there are quite a few ways that you can express the weather and it still is wronged by Duo.... I looked up possibilities... for anyone who is confused with this part of Duo... go to sitesurf or ripcurlgirl and read their comments or look up more about weather on line there are quite a few links
Because of the reference (given by someone earlier): https://www.thoughtco.com/french-weather-vocabulary-le-temps-1371465 I decided to try out "Il fait du soleil et du vent" but was marked incorrect! Thanks for all of the info below; I see that there are variances. As with others, my French is from 50 years ago. :-)