How To Speak English Fluently And Naturally: Snow
Summary: How To Speak English Fluently
So! How do you learn to speak English fluently? You need to listen to native English speakers and today, slightly later than planned, we have a podcast dedicated to the English vocabulary involved with snow.
It would amaze you how much the English talk about snow given we hardly have any real snowfall during winter. The British use the word snow throughout the year, when describing flowers, or even sensitive millennials. So definitely a handy word to practice.
The recent snowfall in the UK was a rare moment for Hilary and her son to go out and enjoy the snow, so we have included a bonus video for just for this podcast article which you can find on YouTube.
Audio Transcript: How To Speak English Fluently And Naturally: Snow
Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. If you’re new to Adept English and you haven’t listened to us before, then we’re here to help you with your English language learning. You can listen to our podcasts, use the transcripts, the written versions to go with the podcast, which are always on our website at adeptenglish.com. The more you listen to authentic, spoken English, the more your understanding will improve. So if you’re looking for the answer to the question ‘How to speak English fluently’, here we are to help you with that.
Help Us Share This Article & You Can Download Immediately
Why did this change? We need you to help us tell people about this FREE English language lesson. If you share this article you help us and in return we charge you nothing to download the audio and a FULL lesson transcript.
First of all – an apology. A few of you mentioned that there was a funny noise, a sound in the recording last week. I didn’t hear it when I listened, but it was very strange once the sound was enhanced. At first we couldn’t work out what the noise was. Recently we’ve bought a new microphone and done lots of things to improve the sound quality. Anyway, we worked out in the end that it was my laptop, creating a buzzing sound. Somehow that happens when it’s plugged in, as I’m recording. So anyway, we should be without the buzzing noise this week, I hope. But thankyou to those of you who pointed this out to us. Hopefully, sound quality this week is much better, but let us know!
Snow in the UK
So it’s been freezing cold for a couple of weekends in the UK – and as ever, when we have snow, it causes us a lot of disruption. We don’t have snow and ice often enough in the UK to really be prepared for it. Snow only happens a couple of times a year – and sometimes especially in the south, there are years where you see no snow at all. But we still have lots of words to do with snow in English, so I thought that what I’d do today would be to run through some of the more common words, the more common pieces of vocabulary when it comes to snow. So ‘How to speak English fluently’, with words to do with snow.
Use of the word ‘snow’
So snow, S-N-O-W is the white stuff which falls gently from the sky, when it’s too cold to rain. Snow is a noun – and it’s what’s known as a ‘mass noun’. It’s like air or water – you can’t say ‘a water’ or ‘a snow’. You can say ‘the water’ or ‘the snow’ - if you mean specific snow, for example ‘The snow which fell last night….’ but you hear it used without the ‘the’ also. So ‘snow is white’ or ‘I like snow’. Snow is also a verb, ‘to snow’ - and you’ll only ever hear this used with ‘it’ - so ‘it’s snowing’ or ‘it has snowed’ or ‘it will snow’. So the ‘it’ here is…..the weather, I guess.
So ‘How to speak English fluently’ - and some more uses of words associated with snow. You can say ‘snowy’, which is an adjective, meaning ‘full of snow’ or ‘covered in snow’. So it could be a snowy day – or a snowy night. You can have snowy hills or a snowy garden. In fact, anything that’s covered in snow could be called ‘snowy’. Even white cats sometimes have the name ‘Snowy’. If you’ve got mountains which you can see are clear at the bottom, but they have snow covering the tops, you might say they were ‘snow-capped’ - ‘snow-capped mountains’. A cap is a hat, that goes on the top of your head – so ‘snow-capped’ means the mountains are wearing snow, like a cap.
Words that you can prefix with ‘snow’
Snow boots and snow shoes
There are lots of nouns that you can put the word snow in front of. So you might have snow boots – boots specifically designed for the snow. I noticed last time we had snow that there are certain boots which leave a really interesting pattern or a picture in the snow. You’d never know your boots did that – until it snows, perhaps. What a cool idea!. You can also have snowshoes – which are different to snow boots. Snow shoes are usually much bigger than your foot, so that when you walk on them, you don’t sink into the snow. Often they clip onto your existing shoes, underneath. So if you have lots of snow, or frequent snow, you may have snow shoes. Most people in the UK wouldn’t have these though – it doesn’t come often enough.
You can also have ‘snow days’ – that’s when they shut the school, or you can’t get to work, so the office is closed and you have a day off. My son was really upset when we had snow a couple of weeks ago, because almost every school and college in the area was closed for a snow day. Only his school was open. Oh dear! No snow day for him and he was very upset that he had to go to school!
Snow man, snow woman, snow suit
If it snows, you might go outside and build a snowman – or a snow woman, I guess, if you prefer. So a figure, a person made of out snow – with a carrot for the nose perhaps – and a hat! You can wear a snow suit which is like the kind of all-in-one suit or piece of clothing, which a child might wear or I guess you might wear it for skiing.
When snow falls, it often falls as snowflakes. If it’s really fine snow – if it’s like little tiny balls, you wouldn’t say ‘snowflake’. But if it’s large, fluffy pieces of snow which are coming down, these are ‘snowflakes’. Flake is spelt F-L-A-K-E and a flake is usually a small piece, that’s been scraped off something larger. So you might have chocolate flakes on your cake or your breakfast cereal may well come in flakes – branflakes or cornflakes, for example. So snowflakes are what we call larger, fluffy pieces of snow as they fall.
In the UK, the word ‘snowflake’ is used in another way too. It’s used to describe person, usually a young person, when you want to imply that they’re not very resilient, not very strong. A ‘snowflake’ is someone who’s very sensitive, easily offended, who gives up easily, or who finds ordinary things difficult to deal with. People even talk about there being a ‘snowflake generation’, which if you are in your late teens or your early 20s, may offend you. A ‘generation’ means a group of people of similar age. So by saying ‘snowflake generation’, it implies that most young people are ‘snowflakes’, too sensitive. People this age usually say that they have all kinds of challenges – and that the term ‘snowflake’ is not fair. I’d probably agree with them. It’s not usually right to generalise anyway. But there you are – in case you ever need to understand that term. So ‘How to speak English fluently’ with words that have ‘snow’ in them, but which are actually nothing to do with the weather!
Just a couple more words with ‘snow’ in them. If you feel like having some fun, some mischief, you might decide when you’re out in the snow to throw snowballs. This is when you pick up some snow in your hands and you mould it, you shape it into a ball. Then you choose someone to throw it at – and of course, as it hits the other person, it breaks up. Possibly some cold snow gets down the back of their neck, inside their jacket and they scream and make a snowball to throw back at you. Throwing snowballs, sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s more like bullying – depends who’s doing it and how!
And finally, let’s end on one I really like. Snowdrops. This word you may not know. ‘Snowdrops’ are flowers – little tiny white flowers, which grow from a bulb. They’re called ‘snowdrops’, because they’re out in January and February (in the UK at least), in the times when it’s most likely to be snowy. And a drop, a droplet? Erm – rain comes in droplets or drops. The Latin name is Galanthus Nivalis – if you’re a gardener, you might recognise that. Galanthus Nivalis means ‘snowy milk flower’. And snowdrops are beautiful, white flowers – like snow. Snowdrops have always been popular, but I did hear a news item last week, which was saying that certain people are so keen on snow drops that bulbs can be sold for lots of money. Apparently on 16th February on eBay, a snowdrop bulb was bought for £725! That sounds crazy – I like snowdrops, but not that much!
Anyway, I hope that helps you with ‘How to speak English fluently’ when you’re talking about snow – and things to do with snow!
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
PS: That pretty much covers all the everyday English you would hear concerning the word ‘snow’
Did you spot the “catch 22“ ?. A person being called a “snowflake” because they are delicate and unique and sensitive will find that offensive, because they are likely to be overly sensitive!
We had fun putting this podcast on helping you speak English fluently. If you have any ideas on what English vocabulary, you might like us to explain then please send us an email or talk to use in the comments on YouTube or over on Facebook.
Thinking about it, we could have talked about “A snowball's chance in hell” and other phrases I’ve heard recently. The topic is vast but, you should know, we try to stick to phrases that are useful today in everyday English conversations.
As always, if you don‘t like this article or you already know about wonder and wander there are many more articles on common English phrases to listen to here.
You can always find more interesting learn English articles here.