Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

How to express the weather and temperature

This video concentrates on the weather and temperature.
Li Yameng: Lydia,zhōumò nǐ xiǎng zuò shénme?
Li Hui: Xīngqīliù xiàyǔ, wǒ xiǎng shuìjiào. Xīngqītiān bú xiàyǔ, wǒ xiǎng hé mèimei qù kàndiànyǐng.
Li Yameng: Xīngqītiān bú xiàyǔ ma? It has been raining for a whole week in Shanghai. Finally, I can go out.
Li Hui: Yeah. So here, can you guess the meaning of “xiàyǔ”? You may get the answer from this picture. “Xiàyǔ” means to rain.
Li Yameng: Here are some words about climate. Please read after me. “qíngtiān”,”yīntiān”, “xiàyǔ”, “xiàxuě”, “guāfēng”
Li Hui: Amy, you are from central part of China, Wuhan, right?
Li Yameng: Right.
Li Hui: Wǔhàn zhōumò tiānqì zěnmeyàng?
Li Yameng: Xīngqīliù qíngtiān, dànshì xīngqītiān yīntiān. Sìchuān zhōumò tiānqì zěnmeyàng?
Li Hui: Xīngqīliù yīntiān, xīngqītiān yě yīntiān.
It’s always cloudy in Sichuan. I don’t like it.
Li Yameng: “Zěnmeyàng” can be used for asking about the condition of something. Here, we can put in different topics. For example, if the topic is “tiānqì”, “tiānqì zěnmeyàng” is about the weather condition. It means how is the weather. If the topic is about food, then “zěnmeyàng” can refer to the condition of the food. For example, “huǒguō zěnmeyàng” means how is the hotpot.
Don’t forget to put the topic before “zěnmeyàng”. For instance, Lydia, jīntiān tiānqì zěnmeyàng?
Li Hui: Jīntiān hěn rè.
It’s very hot today.
Li Yameng: When we describe the weather, we like to use words that indicate to what extent something is by putting them in front of adjectives. For example, “hěn” can be used to express to what extent something is. Jīntiān hěn rè. Jīntiān hěn lěng.
“Tài” adjective “le” holds a stronger degree of emphasis than “hěn”. To use this structure, simply place the adjective between “tài” and “le”. For example, “Jīntiān tài rè le”.
“Yǒudiǎnr” means a little bit. Here is an example. Jīntiān yǒudiǎnr rè.
If we want to express the negative meaning, we can put “bù” before the adjective, or “bú tài” before the adjective. “Bú tài” means not that much. Please take a look at these two examples. Jīntiān bú rè. Jīntiān bú tài rè.
Li Hui: Amy, Wǔhàn jīntiān tiānqì zěnmeyàng?
Li Yameng: Wǔhàn jīntiān yǒudiǎnr lěng.
Li Hui: Duōshào dù?
Li Yameng: Jīntiān 3 dào 10 dù.
Li Hui: “Dù” means degree. “Duōshào dù” is a question asking what the temperature is. If you want to describe the weather’s temperature, just put “dù” after the number. For instance, “10 dù” means 10 degrees Celsius. Here’s another example. 3 dào 10 dù. 3 to 10 degrees. “Dào” indicates …to… To say minus, we say “língxià” which means below zero in Chinese. For instance, “língxià 10 dù” means minus 10 degrees Celsius.
Li Yameng: We all know that China is a big country, so the climate is fairly different between the northern and the southern sides. Lydia, I know you grew up in your northern province called “Shānxī”. Shānxī de dōngtiān qìhòu zěnmeyàng?
Li Hui: Shānxī de dōngtiān hěn lěng,yě hěn gānzào.
So every time I go back to visit my parents, my nose and my throat feel uncomfortable. Amy, nǐ juéde Shànghǎi de dōngtiān qìhòu zěnmeyàng?
Li Yameng: Wǒ juéde Shànghǎi de dōngtiān hěn lěng yě hěn cháoshī.
Li Hui: If you want to know today’s weather condition, you can ask–
Li Yameng: Jīntiān tiānqì zěnmeyàng? You can answer–
Li Hui: Jīntiān yīntiān, yǒudiǎnr lěng.
Li Yameng:To ask about the temperature, you can say–
Li Hui: Jīntiān duōshǎo dù? But the question is for you to answer.

This video concentrates on the weather and temperature.


The most common way to inquire about today’s weather is by using “怎么样(zěnmeyàng)” as below.

今天天气怎么样? (Jīntiān tiānqì zěnmeyàng?) How is the weather today?

“”今天(jīntiān)“ means “today”. “天气(tiānqì)” refers to the weather. “怎么样(zěnmeyàng)” can be used for asking about the condition of something.

The topic before “怎么样(zěnmeyàng)” can be changed to other things like “火锅(huǒguō)”, “火锅怎么样?(Huǒguō zěnmeyàng?)”

When we describe the weather, we like to use words that indicate to what extent something is and put them in front of adjectives.

Here are some examples.

  • 很(hěn) very (much)
    今天很热。 (Jīntiān hěn rè.) It is very hot today.
  • 有点儿(yǒudiǎnr) a little bit
    今天有点儿热。 (Jīntiān yǒudiǎnr rè.) It is a little hot today.
  • 不太(bútài) not that (much)
    今天不太热。 (Jīntiān bútài rè.) Today it is not that hot.
The typical way to ask about today’s temperature is as follows.
今天多少度? (Jīntiān duōshao dù?) What’s the temperature today?
The measurement of temperature is “度(dù) degree”. China uses Celsius to measure the temperature. In order to answer this question, you just need to put the number before “度(dù)”.
Here are three examples for you to better understand how to answer this question.
  • 今天多少度? (Jīntiān duōshao dù?) 今天10度。(Jīntiān 10 dù.) Today is 10 degrees.
  • 今天多少度? (Jīntiān duōshao dù?) 今天3到10度。(Jīntiān 3 dào 10 dù.) Today is 3 to 10 degrees.
  • 今天多少度? (Jīntiān duōshao dù?) 今天零下10度。(Jīntiān língxià 10 dù.) Today is minus 10 degrees.
“到(dào)” indicates “…to…”. “零下(língxià)”means “below zero”.
If you would like to know more expressions to describe the weather, you might find the following list of words useful.
  • 冷(lěng) cold
  • 热(rè) hot
  • 干燥(gānzào) dry
  • 潮湿(cháoshī) moist
  • 下雨(xiàyǔ) rain
  • 多云(duōyún) partially cloudy
  • 晴天(qíngtiān) sunny day
  • 阴天(yīntiān) cloudy day
  • 四季如春(sìjìrúchūn) like spring all year around

When you talk about the climate, you may start with “Subject 觉得(juéde)” which means “In someone’s opinion”. For example, “我觉得上海很潮湿(Wǒ juéde Shànghǎi hěn cháoshī.)” means “I think the climate in Shanghai is humid”.

This article is from the free online

Learn Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Conversation

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education