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  5. "What's the weather like?"

"What's the weather like?"

Translation:¿Qué tiempo hace?

June 11, 2018



I wrote "que hace tiempo" and it was wrong but I don't understand why


¿Qué hace tiempo? is an incorrect construction proving that while word order is more flexible in Spanish than in English, it isn't infinitely flexible. This is why we learn patterned responses like ¿Qué tiempo hace?


I don't think Diane was trying to change the order. She just wanted to know why the order was important here. If there is a rule, that would be good to know.


What weather, Qué tiempo. The hace is showing that this is current.

Que hace tiempo would be asking 'what now the weather?'


Interesting, since I also tried ¿qué hace tiempo? on my first attempt. According to SpanDict, this actually translates as "that it's been a while", which makes a bit of sense because tiempo can mean either time or weather. More likely though, it is probably just a jumble of words en español, because it didn't even translate as a question in English.

And ¿qué hace el tiempo? translated as "what does the weather do?". So I guess this is one of those phrases we just need to memorize until we understand the significance of word order a little better.


"Hace" doesn't mean current or now.


Since it is present tense, yes, it does indeed imply "now". Contrast with ¿Qué tiempo hacía?


To me, I think the word order in ENGLISH is easier. Spanish word order is extremely inflexible, even when it STILL conveys the same message most of the time. Not saying you're wrong. Just saying I see it differently than you see it. I have gotten more WRONG solutions fro DUOLINGO due to word order than any other reason for sentence errors....including SPELLING. LOL.


I think your translation is ´what is making the weather¨


I'm surprised no one has been able to provide a real explanation yet.


That isn't true, dayno. It just isn't an expression that translates into English, word for word. That doesn't mean the explanations of the Spanish equivalent aren't "real". (If you want a lengthy, technical explanation, google "interrogative pronouns in Spanish" and then "interrogative adjectives in Spanish". I promise you it's easier to just memorize *¿Qué tiempo hace?)

Bottom line: ¿Qué tiempo hace? = "What is the weather doing?" or "What weather is "it" making?" (The "it" is the same as in the English expression, "It's raining.") You may choose to think of it as whatever translation works for you.

¿Qué hace el tiempo? = "What makes the weather?", though I don't know a Spanish speaker would ever ask that question in that form.


It has to do with the relationship between the interrogative word 'qué' and the following word. In your word order, qué [verb], it's 'what is it doing, time?', and you would need to say 'el tiempo (or clima)' to mean weather. Without the 'el', google translate says it means long time ago. Likely similar to the english 'where has time gone'. In duo's, with qué [noun] it's 'what weather is happening?'.


Yes, or "What is the weather doing?". As Taunya knows, hacer means "to do or to make".


Dianne, while I can't give you a grammar explanation, I can tell you that when you see "Que" at the beginning of a Spanish question about weather, you have to reverse the order of the "hace tiempo" and change it to "tiempo hace". It's just an observation that I realized because I had gotten the word order WRONG so many times. And that reverse order was NEVER in our TIPS section either. BAD DOG!DUOLINGO! LOL.



It is true that some/most subjects can go either before or after a verb. But, "tiempo" can be used to mean both "weather" and "time". And, there are very specific and numerous sentence structures and interrogatives to use them. Tiempo has many, many forms that it can take.

For me, I think it's easiest in this sentence to remember that the sentence in English says

"The weather is doing what?" = "¿El tiempo hace qué?

So, the interrogative "qué" can just move to the front and the article "the" can disappear since it is no longer at the head of the phrase -->

¿Qué tiempo hace? = "What the weather is doing? --> "What is the weather doing?


Yes, that's another way to look at it. But to me, as an English speaker, that's an awkward way to have to remember something. I have used your method and still do at times, and I thank you.


I will try that


I look at it as:

"¿Qué tiempo hace?" = "What's the weather doing?"

Qué = What (is) Tiempo = (The) weather Hace = Doing

That's as simple as I can put it. It helps me


I think as a Spanish speaker it is more like "¿Cómo esta el clima?


I tried como esta la clima - no dice


Well, for one thing it is el clima not "la clima". El clima is one of those Greek-origin words that remains masculine despite the a on the end of the noun. (Something I learned from these DL discussions.)


It is one of those masculine ... "...ma" words


I love my Ma and I'm masculine


If you feel you have to tell us, I have to wonder... (This is entirely a joke.)



I love your mnemonic device for remembering that many Spanish words ending in "-ma" are masculine. ☺

Have a lingot!


Que hace el tiempo. I mean seriously, how is this wrong?


You asked "What is the weather doing?"


Hi, Alezzix! Yep, sounds like a reasonable question about the weather, to me! I've asked that same question of my husband when he was checking the skies for upcoming storms. He might answer, "The wind is picking up & it looks like it's pouring rain on the other side of the lake." (I get it; Spanish doesn't want to ask it that way....)

It does seem curious that we cannot use the article with ¿Qué tiempo hace? but they do use it for ¿Cómo está el clima? But if it said, "What makes the weather?" we might have to imagine angry gods stomping around, throwing lightning bolts at each other, & blowing hard towards the earth with their cheeks puffed out. ...


So, skepticalways, you have asked your husband, "Qué hace el tiempo?" and gotten the appropriate response pertaining to the weather? So, that is okay for us to use?


I don't think I'd use her husband's response as a guide. There's no guarantee the folks you interact with will speak the Fred (or Bruce, Jake, Pablo...) dialect ;)



Yes, I understand that not all areas of the Spanish-speaking world would accept a particular translation any better than I accept my husbands use of English when we grew up 1-hour apart in the Midwest U.S.! LOL! ☺

I just ask so I know that at least one native speaker in some area of the Spanish-speaking world uses this phrase a particular way. ☺


skepticalways, I always enjoy your insight and helpful explanations. Thank you!


I think you wrote "What makes the weather?"

(Corrected 9/15/19)


I'm in a loop. I write ¿Qué tiempo hace? and it corrects me to ¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? So I write that and then it marks it as wrong and says I have to answer ¿Qué tiempo hace? ad infinitum.

Oh crap, never mind. One question was "What's the weather like" and the other "What's the weather like today". I'm going to post this just in case anyone else does the same thing. ~ el stupido ~


I have usual just pressed the report button when i see my error!


I can't count how often I have done that. And I get really embarrassed about it, which is an odd reaction to a computer.


I do that too often too


I wrote [cómo es el tiempo[, and surprisingly, it is accepted.


As a warning I'll tell you, that's not usable, "¿Cómo está el tiempo?" would be more appropriate.


I think of it like "What's the weather doing?" That helps me keep it straight in my head.


Comments helped a lot. Thanks


So it's like you're saying what weather is there?


the correct answer given is "¿Qué tal el tiempo?"


Como hace el tiempo hoy?


The correct response is at the top of the page. Yes, there are other ways to say the same thing, but that doesn't mean that every syntax that occurs to English speakers is correct. Your question asks how is the weather made today? I have no idea what the answer would be.


You know, warm fronts, cold fronts, stuff like that.


It would be nice to explain the order rather than you got it wrong pay attention to the order now


John, DL isn't like a test in high school or college, where missing a question is some sort of failure. Here, as I understand it, the thinking is that missing a question is just part of the learning process. So whether the word order is explained before or after you first encounter the prompt doesn't really matter. You get another shot at the right answer--in fact, you get as many shots as you need! What matters is that you learn it eventually, however you do.

But I do commiserate. We are all conditioned by years of formal schooling to want that "PERFECT" banner at the end of an exercise. Were it up to me, the banner would not have been added. (In case you don't know, in the major languages moderators are entirely separate from course writers. I have no more say in how DL is written than you do.)


It is one of those phrases that you just memorize.


Exactly. And as I have pointed out elsewhere, it is no more arbitrary than "It is raining." Who the heck is "it"?

I will add that it's a simple phrase, easy to remember and, though I am far from fluent, I use it automatically without a second thought.


Is "¿Qué está el tiempo?" ok?


I'm not positively sure, but I suspect a native speaker would wonder whether you are asking about the weather or the time of day, because your syntax doesn't match the customary usage. ¿Qué tiempo hace? solves any confusion.


Que es el tiempo como?


No. That's a literal translation, but I don't believe Spanish uses "like" in the same way we use it in English. Actually, a formal English speaker probably wouldn't find "What's the weather like?" correct, even though most of us say it that way.


Most Spanish speakers would say "como esta el clima?"


I think there are subtle difference between clima and tiempo. clima is more like climate.


Again, not in Mexico, according to Mexican posters here. I can't speak from personal experience.


I don't have a means of polling "most Spanish speakers", but I've heard and read tiempo most of my life.

ETA María other posters have written that el clima is used to mean weather primarily in Mexico. Most of the rest of the Spanish world uses el tiempo.


Guillermo, " ETA María other posters have written that el clima is used to mean weather primarily in Mexico. Most of the rest of the Spanish world uses el tiempo. "

I think you may have hit on an excellent point with that statement. There IS a difference in how Spanish is spoken between Spain and Mexico, and the other Latin American people. But the American ( most of us anyway) people here are trying to learn the SPANISH that the Latin Americans are using, because our borders are attached, and there has been a lot of immigration into the U.S. from Latin America. WE GRINGOS are here to try to learn how to better communicate with them. For me at lest, I could care less how Castilian Spanish is written OR spoken. Furthermore, as you have said, the questions and answers are computer generated and I suspect that there will sometimes be different translations between the Spanish way and he Latin American way. It would explain a lot of the frustration many of us have from time to time with the way questions are ASKED, and the resulting ANSWERS we get translated to ENGLISH.


Using articles or not seems random to me.


It's not random, but it IS a product of convention. And the conventions are different for Spanish and English. For example, in English we commonly omit the article before the subject of a sentence: "Cows are fat." v. Las vacas son gordas.

But I think you are right in one sense: we might as well think of articles as random, because who knows how the conventions became established (in Spanish or English)? There are a few rules (such as the use of articles with the subject), but a lot of the time we just have to get used to articles by drilling.


What is wrong with "Qué hace el tiempo?


BrentaPoole. I think your sentence is similar to that of Diane72505. refer to above discussions.


I never know when to use the article "the". I wrote que el tiempo hace and it was wrong. Why?


I've struggled with the use of articles in Spanish, too. But I can't think of an example where an article goes directly between the interrogative pronouns qué or cuál and the subject noun.

Such pronouns are akin to possessive pronouns such as mi, tu o su. The pronoun replaces the direct article. You wouldn't say/write ¿Quiero mi el globo? Likewise, you don't use an article between qué and tiempo here.

Note: if another word, usually the verb, comes in between, then the direct article is often used: ¿Cómo está el tiempo?


Was wondering why we say "hace calor" but "tiempo hace". For anyone else confused, I think calor is the object but tiempo is the subject. Although a bit unnatural, you could say "el tiempo hace calor"


Well, we don't say tiempo hace, we ask ¿Qué tiempo hace?, or "What weather is it making?" Hace calor is "It makes heat."

The "it" in both cases is the same as in the English sentences, "It is raining" or "It is snowing."


¿Que tiempo hace? The suggested translation for this exercise sounds really odd to me and it would make much more sense to replace • What's the weather like? with • What time is it?

...but who am I to challenge Duo's infallibility?


Nobody says DL is infallible, but you should be careful about assuming Spanish words mean exactly the same as similar words in English.

In Spanish, the time of day is referred to as la hora ("the hour"). So what time is it would be ¿Qué hora es?

Hace means "It is making". (The "it" is the same as the "it" in "It's raining" in English.)

So ¿Qué tiempo hace? = "What weather is it making?"


The program stating Que tal hace tiempo. does not include "tal"


That's just another way of saying the same thing. ¿Qué tiempo hace? suffices.


¿Que es el clima? - Isn't that correct?


At the very least, it would be ¿Qué está el clima? if you are asking about weather, which is a temporary condition. But anywhere outside Mexico, ¿Qué tiempo hace? is far more common.

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