This episode's vocabulary
- Dreary (adj.) - boring and making you feel unhappy.
- Progressive (adj.) - developing or happening gradually
- Damp (adj.) - slightly wet, usually in an unpleasant way
- Torrential rain (phrase) - very heavy rain.
- Scorching (adj.) - very hot.
- Oxymoron (noun) - two words used together, which mean two different or opposite things, such as 'bitter-sweet' or 'smart casual'.
- Cloudburst (noun) - a sudden heavy fall of rain.
- Humidity (noun) - a measurement of how much water there is in the air:
- Lethargic (adj.) - having little energy; feeling unwilling and unable to do anything.
- To soak up (phrasal verb) - to enjoy the effects or experience of something as much as possible.
- Heatwave (noun) - a period of time such as a few weeks when the weather is much hotter than usual.
- To vegetate (verb) - to live in a way that has no physical and mental activity.
Questions and Answers
M: What's the weather usually like in your hometown?
R: Well, right now it's pretty dreary, I'd say. We're moving from, well, we're moving from what, summer into autumn? We're actually in the midst of autumn now. So the climate is getting progressively colder and damper as the days go by.
M: What's your favorite weather?
R: Oh, I think that depends on the circumstances, doesn't it? If I'm inside and the heating is on and there's like torrential rain outside, then I get quite a cozy feeling. And obviously, I'd want to stay indoors. On the other hand, obviously, if it's scorching outside, then I'd rather be out there getting a ton and sunbathing.
M: Do you like the weather in your hometown?
R: Usually, actually, we're supposed to be the sunniest city in Scotland, which sounds like something of an oxymoron, doesn't it? We clearly do get our fair share of cloudless days, but usually in the summer, right now, it's not at its best.
M: Do you like wet weather?
R: Well, like I said, Only if I'm indoors. I got caught in a cloudburst the other day, and it looked, well, and I looked like a drowned rat, as did everyone else around me. That was not entertaining in the slightest.
M: Do you prefer wet, hot or dry weather?
R: I definitely have a preference for hot weather. You can be outside, get vitamin D from the sun, which is good for your skin and your bones. And it's just better look all around. This is of course only if the humidity is low. Because otherwise, I think, well, I can and I think other people do feel lethargic and ill.
M: What do you do in hot weather?
R: Well, assuming it's not a school day, I go out with my friends for walks along the beach or sit on the decking and soak up the sun while reading. Short of a heatwave, though. That's unlikely at the moment. But if that happened, then it would be like, stay indoors and vegetate.
M: Rory, thank you so much for your answers!
M: Do you know that there's a technical term for a sunny warm day, which follows two rainy days?
R: Is it nice?
M: No, it's called Monday. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. It's a joke. Yeah, dear listener, I know that it's quite silly. But hopefully, you just smiled and tolerated horrid jokes. So we've talked about the weather before. So, dear listener, feel free to go and listen to the other episode about the weather. But the weather is a current topic in the IELTS speaking exam. And it's going to be there, well until January 2022. When they're going to add new topics. And maybe the weather will stay. We don't know. So Rory, you said that it's pretty dreary, dreary weather.
R: Yeah, dreary. It's gray. It's dark. It's wet. It's not nice. It's dreary.
M: Yeah. So instead of saying bad weather, you can say dreary weather. Or you can also say grim. Can you say grim?
R: Well, yeah, you could say it's pretty grim outside.
M: Or gloomy or nasty. Yeah, really good examples. But can you say it's a dreary weather, with an article, it's a dreary weather?
R: No, you have to say it's dreary weather, or the weather is dreary. Weather is uncountable, but it's not something that you can have an article with.
M: Exactly, exactly. We do say, I have a good time, a good time. But we say it's dreary weather, or you can say it's pretty dreary. You also said damp, cold and damp.
R: Colder and damper.
M: Yeah, you said the climate is getting progressively colder and damper.
R: Yeah, but that's just another way of saying it's getting worse or it's not getting better. So if something is happening progressively, it's sort of like it's increasing over time. It doesn't mean it's getting better. Usually people hear the word progress, and they're like, ooh, progress. But no, if something is happening progressively, it just means it's expanding over time.
M: Mm hmm. And damper is like wet, but it's a negative word, like damp weather.
R: Well, when we talk about weather, it's usually quite negative. But you can have a damp cloth, you put a damp compress on a wound but we're not talking about injuries right now. We're talking about the weather. So damp just means there's a lot of moisture, not just like rain in the air, but moisture on the surfaces of things, for example.
M: Mm hmm. Yeah, for example, it was a damp morning. So kind of wet but not pleasant or comfortable. So a bit negative. Then you mentioned torrential rain, if there is torrential rain outside.
R: Yes. But torrential rain is just like well, if you think about the word torrent it means a lot of water coming down in one direction. So torrential rain is a lot of rain coming down very very quickly. So imagine monsoon in India for example. It's like a shower.
M: Okay. But not a shower that you usually have a shower, right? Just shower like a rain. In Thailand, they have horizontal rain. So if you're from Thailand, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Horizontal rain. When you know it's sunny outside then bam, then this like rain happens horizontally. Also, we mentioned, I said at the very beginning of the episode, it's bucketing down.
R: Yes. So that means well, it's torrential rain. That means there's lots of it.
M: Mm hmm. And you said raining cats and dogs?
M: I think we've we've talked about it before, but like, do people usually say that? Like do your friends in Scotland?
R: No, it's a cliche. People only say if it's ironic, but I wanted to get it in because we were arguing about which coincidence to have at the start of the podcast and I thought raining cats and dogs was a good one. But you said no, because it wasn't realistic, and it's a cliche, but I was right.
M: Yeah. Oh, you're always right, Rory. Scottish right. Okay, but to be more natural, you can use it's bucketing down or usually it buckets down where I live, for example. So if there is torrential rain, Rory gets quite a cozy feeling.
R: Well, if you live in a place without terrible weather though, are there alternatives that we could use?
M: You can say I really enjoy dry weather. And it hardly ever rains or there is hardly ever any torrential rain.
R: There is minimal precipitation.
M: Oh, precipitation, it's like water falling from the sky.
R: Is it?
R: Precipitation. It's like all the rain that falls down.
R: It's not just rain, though. It's to do with water in general. Anyway, talk about precipitation. It's a it's a great word.
M: Precipitation - water that falls from the clouds towards the ground, especially as rain or snow. Hail and sleet are types of precipitation.
R: Yeah, it's not just about the rain then, it's about everything.
M: Yep. But it's like a specialized word. But it's like a very high level, really specific. So if you can pronounce it, dear listener, come on, precipitation.
M: There's very little precipitation where I live. And then you can say It's scorching. It's very hot. It's scorching outside.
R: Yes. And if it's extremely, well. scorching is just a really high temperature. But if you have a very high temperature for a prolonged period of time, then it will be a heat wave.
M: Oh, yes.
R: People die in heat waves. I didn't realize that until a few years ago.
R: Apparently it's very common.
M: Well, people die if it's freezing cold, if it's scorching, if it's a heatwave.
R: Yeah, but as someone who is from Scotland, which is not exactly known for its scorching weather, I don't really experience this.
M: You said that you do get our, we do get our fair share of cloudless days.
R: So there's a couple of things here, to get your fair share of something is, well, to get what you deserve, basically. Or if you get more than your fair share of something, you get more than you think you deserve. Cloudless days are days without clouds, but instead of saying days without clouds, we say cloudless days, cloudless skies, it's a cloudless evening. Are you having cloudless day, Maria?
M: No, today's it's been a bit crazy. We had snow plus rain together and the sun at the same time for about 10 minutes. Then blue skies, then gray skies it's like, like an Irish weather.
R: Yeah, there's something interesting going on there.
M: Yeah, but in Scotland, it's, well, you don't have summer in Scotland. Only maybe two days of summer? One day of summer, Rory?
R: No, we have summer. Thank you very much.
M: Three days of summer. No? Five? Really? Do you know the word summer in Scotland? I think it doesn't exist. Haha.
R: No, we have summer, we had like 30 degrees, well, not the other day obviously. But we had 30 degrees Celsius in July and August. How dare you? Our weather is absolutely quality in the summer, right now it's not really nice. It's dreary.
M: Dreary and grim. Yeah, and then Rory told us a story. Rory told us a story when he got caught in a cloud burst and looked like a drowned rat.
M: Do you have any pictures?
R: No, thank God. So a cloudburst is when all of the water in a cloud comes down. So it's like a shower. Like a literal shower. No, as in a small bit of rain. It's like pouring down. And if you look like a drowned rat, then you're very, very wet. Yes, it's a simile. That's it's that's a kind of idiomatic speech where you compare yourself to something and you say it's like.
M: Like a drowned rat.
M: Oh, god. Yeah. Can you imagine Rory looking like a drowned rat? All wet and cold.
R: And small.
M: Oh, and small, aww. Dear listener, do you want to hug Rory and give him your warmth? Yeah, you can also say, I got soaked through.
R: Yes, that's also something that you could say instead of I looked like a drowned rat if you wanted to keep coming back to this idea.
M: Rory definitely prefers hot weather. So he can get out and get vitamin D from the sun. Together with the vitamin C by the sea. Another joke for you.
M: And get a tan, get a tan. Rory, do Scottish people, are they able to get tanned?
R: Most Scottish people can't. I think I'm the only, one of the few Scottish people that can actually tan. Naturally that is. And when you go tanning, you get vitamin D. And if you do not have sunny weather, or if you do have sunny weather, but there's lots of, like the humidity is high. So there's lots of moisture in the air. Then you can feel lethargic, which is like saying you feel tired. It's like a medical word for being tired.
M: Yeah. So when the weather is gray, it's grim. You say, yeah, I usually feel lethargic, lethargic. Like having little energy, feeling unwilling or unable to do anything. Like, oh, I was feeling tired and lethargic. So usually in autumn people tend to feel lethargic. Do you, dear listener, do you feel lethargic when it's all gloomy and miserable and nasty?
R: If you do feel lethargic, you should go to a sunny place and soak up the sun.
M: Yeah, I love this expression. I enjoy warm weather, I enjoy sunny days to soak up the sun. You can also soak up the atmosphere. Rory, you can go with soak up, it's a phrasal verb.
R: It is a phrasal verb and if you like phrasal verbs, then you should check out our phrasal verbs course. successwithielts.com/podcourses. Did I get it right?
M: I think so.
R: Never mind. Just look up, Google podcourses, honestly. Do you know, it's interesting actually, because people send me messages every day saying they can't find things. And I like, I always just think because I take forever to reply to messages, if you aren't sure about where something is, please google it first because it's usually the top search result and it will save you waiting for an answer from Maria or myself or anyone else who's working with us.
M: Yeah, you can also go to successwithielts.com and you will have all the information there, the links and also there are the links to this episode. So just do check them out. And on our phrasal verbs course. We have more than what, we have 15 lessons on different phrasal verbs. So yeah, that's really useful for your speaking. I think Rory we can wake you up in the middle of the night and ask you Rory phrasal verb course. And then you just tell us about the phrasal verb course.
R: I can tell you everything you want to know about that course, but you'd find out more permanent information on the website. And it's all laid out nicely by the people who do our website. Anyway, we've gone off on a tangent and we need to get back to talking about the weather. So we've got a list of words that we could have used but I didn't however, they're all good for a band nine score. Let's talk about how to talk about good weather.
M: You can say I enjoy excellent weather.
M: The weather is usually lovely. Ideal weather.
R: My ideal kind of weather. Yeah. If you don't want to sound so happy about your weather, you could say it's appalling weather. The weather is dreadful. It's a gloomy day. It's a grim day. The weather is miserable, or it's nasty.
M: Or dreary. Dreary weather. Yeah. Also you mentioned humidity, right? Humidity, the weather can also be humid or muggy. If the weather is muggy. It's usually muggy.
R: Yeah. Although what does that mean?
M: When the weather is muggy, it is unpleasantly warm and the air contains a lot of water. So it's similar to humid or sticky.
R: Does it contain a lot of water? Water.
M: Contains a lot of water.
R: Have you got any water, mate?
M: Yeah, so it's like sticky, humid, like it's unpleasant. So muggy. Oh, it's a bit muggy here.
R: And if it's unpleasant, it could be unpleasant because it's unpredictable. So you don't know what to wear.
M: Yeah, you can say the weather is usually unpredictable here.
R: Unpredictable weather can be changeable. It can be very harsh, very bad. There can also be severe, severe winds.
M: Yeah, oh we have harsh winters.
R: You have harsh winters in Russia.
M: Oh yeah, we do.
R: But we have mild winters in Scotland. However because we live next to the sea. It's changeable.
M: Yeah, mild climates, mild winters.
R: If we stick with this idea of winter, though, winter can be frosty. When you have this like thin layer of ice over everything. It can also, on the subject of ice, it can be icy, or it can be wintry, wintry weather.
M: Wintry like also cold? Winter, wintry weather. Also, you can say, the question could be what do you usually do in hot weather? Right? And how can you use this expression? Whatever the weather?
R: Yes, so whatever the weather just means, regardless, or the weather is irrelevant in the situation. You will always be doing something. So whatever the weather he swims every day, or he swims every day whatever the weather. You can move the position of the phrase, when you want to know what the weather will be like, what do you watch or listen to?
M: The weather forecast.
R: Yeah, don't say the weather report weather forecast. Forecasting.
M: Forecast. Yeah, do you believe for the weather forecasts, Rory?
R: In this country? Absolutely not. But we live, where I live, we have what's called a micro climate. And that means that it's actually its own weather system and its own climate. So while the weather forecast will be right in general for the whole country, because we live in this microclimate weather forecast can be completely unreliable. Hmm. But what's not reliable is the fact that we are at the end of the episode.
M: What else can you do in all weathers or whatever the weather?
R: You could listen to our podcasts. We have more than one, this is the free one. But if you are interested in speaking parts two and three, or if you're interested in writing, or if you're interested in improving your phrasal verbs, we have everything you need. Tell us more.
M: Yeah, we do have a writing podcast now. In three episodes, we are talking about the essays in our premium episodes, we discuss graphs. Yeah, I know cool. We give you all the structure, the words what to do strategies, so do check them out. The link is in the description. Have fun. And as for the weather, we could all take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism. This is my ending word for this episode.
R: Thank you very much for listening!
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