Everyday English Phrases For Hot Weather
In the UK we usually complain about how wet and cold the weather is during our short summer. So when we get an unusually hot summer people in the UK find ways to complain about it being too hot as well.
In this weeks speaking English lesson, we talk about heat waves what they are and what it can mean if you live in the UK. If you asked anyone in the UK about a heatwave, everyone would know what you are talking about as it is a typical English phrase for conversation during a hot summer.
Hi there, I’m Hilary and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English, helping you learn English by listening! I hope that if you live in the Northern hemisphere, that you’ve been enjoying the summer.
We’ve been having unusually hot and dry weather in the UK this summer. In fact, this year saw the driest June on record as people in Britain were experiencing a heatwave. A heatwave is what we call it, when there is no rain, the sun is shining and it’s hot for a prolonged period of time. In the South East and Southern England, we had only about six per cent of the usual amount of rainfall. So it’s very dry. To the West of London, the county of Middlesex had only 0.7mm of rain, while Essex had only 1.7mm and Dorset just 2mm of rainfall, during June. That’s 2mm, not 2cm even – so that’s tiny! So when there is very little rainfall and everything is dry, we call it a ‘drought’. That’s one of those really difficult English words – it’s spelt D-R-O-U-G-H-T and pronounced drought – so it means prolonged dry weather, no rain.
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With the UK summer being famous for being short and wet its nice to talk about heatwave as an English phrase for daily use
We often say things like the hottest June on record – ‘on record’ means that it’s the hottest it’s been since we started to make records about the weather and high temperatures or low rainfall. This was the case for Northern Ireland and Wales this week – the hottest June on record it was reported, while for Scotland, the ever highest temperature of 33C was reported on June 28. Scotland is usually cooler and often dry with cloud in the summer, so this is unusual.
Hosepipe bans, £1000 fines are Common English phrases for conversation in the UK
Water companies, so the organisations in charge of water supply are talking about there being shortages. A shortage of something means that you don’t have enough – so here, there may not be enough water. Water companies can impose restrictions if there are serious shortages, so in the North West of the UK, people have been told that they can’t use their hosepipes from August 5th.
A hosepipe is like a long tube that you might use to water your garden or wash your car. Now, as you probably know, we usually have quite a lot of rainfall in the UK – less in the south, more in the north, but we don’t normally have problems with dry weather, like some countries do. So we aren’t that careful about our water usage, because we have lots of it. In fact the average person in the UK apparently uses 150 litres of water a day!
We like our long showers perhaps. It’s not something people worry about. But in the North West, after the 5th August if you’re caught using a hosepipe, you could be fined a thousand pounds. That’s a lot of money – it will put people off! There’s also a ban on using hosepipes in Northern Ireland for the first time in six years. And Northern Ireland usually gets lots and lots of rain, because it’s next to the Atlantic, but even here, not much rainfall.
The lack of good weather in a typical UK summer makes heatwave an unusual phrase to use in English speaking
In fact, it was reported this week that the satellite image of Britain has turned from green to brown with the drought – you can see the effect from space! For many people, who usually enjoy green gardens, it’s not very rewarding gardening at the moment, things don’t look nice – and it’s more about trying to keep the plants alive, than it is a pleasure in growing things.
But of course, the situation is far more serious if you’re a farmer. A farmer means someone who owns a farm, and you can use the word farm as a verb too - ‘to farm’. So you can farm sheep or cattle – that’s the word for a lot of cows. Or you can farm crops, so you can grow things – like oats, or corn or vegetables. So UK farmers are having difficulty with there being so little rainfall. There’s worry about potatoes in the heatwave. The yield, so that means the number of potatoes in this case – will be less, so it’s likely that prices will rise.
On the other hand, British tourist sites are doing very well out of the hot weather. People are more likely to visit stately homes, theme parks and other attractions if the weather is guaranteed.
So what about in Europe?
There are difficulties here for farmers, especially in Northern Europe. It’s very dry in Latvia and Lithuania and Sweden where again, it’s likely that crops – so the amount produced by farmers – will be much, much smaller than usual this year meaning that farmers will lose a lot of money. Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany are also affected.
And there are problems with wild fires. Sweden has got big problems at the moment, with parts of the countryside on fire and the fires are difficult to get under control. This has happened in the UK too – in the North of England near Manchester, there were several wildfires on the news a couple of weeks ago. But in Sweden, there are at least 40 wild fires burning and they’ve requested help from the EU to put them out. So they too are seeing temperatures which are hottest ever being recorded.
Heatwave is such a common English phrase for conversation during summer
But the heatwave is going in other places around the world too. In Algeria it was apparently 51C last week – that must be unbearably hot. It’s been well over 32C in Northern Siberia. And the hot weather is also breaking records in America – so that means again that it’s been hotter in a lot of places in the US than ever before.
So wherever you are in the world, I hope that you are managing to stay cool and that the hot weather is not badly affecting you. And if you’re a farmer, I hope that there’s some rain for you soon.
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Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
This English language speaking lesson talked about how the British often make fun of themselves, especially about complaining about things you really do not need to complain about.
It is useful to understand the common phrases and ways in which a British English speaker might go about talking in this "light-hearted" way of complaining, so you can join in on your next spoken English conversation.