Il fait should always be followed by an adjective, and il y a used with nouns.

ChapelA2Kwiziq community member

Il fait should always be followed by an adjective, and il y a used with nouns.

I am confused by the weather lessons, and the rule above in particular. 

All of the examples of “il y a” in this lesson include adjectives, not nouns.  “Sunny,” “windy” etc. are adjectives. 

On the other hand, it seems to have been established that “il fait” is often not appropriate when there is an adjective, because it sounds childish.  So, that also does not fit the rule.

From this lesson, it seems like the rule never holds true. 

Suggestions:

1.  My suggestion is to remove that rule from this lesson altogether, because it is creating confusion.  If you remove it, we are left with the general rule that “To talk about the weather in French, you will use Il y a + du / de la / de l' / des  + noun.”   Maybe it makes sense to remove the noun reference there too, and replace it with [weather condition]? 

2.  If you click the link to the lesson about “il fait + [adjective]” it states that “to talk about the weather in French, you will use the fixed expression “il fait + [adjective]”.  This statement is directly contradictory to the lesson that says  “To talk about the weather in French, you will use ‘Il y a…’”  They have the same lead-in phrase, but come to different conclusions.

***

For my own use, I’m trying to decide if I should be using “il y a” all the time with weather, and avoiding “il fait” altogether…

OR

Using “il fait” only when I am talking about the quality of the weather (good or bad) or the temperature (hot or cold), but using “il y a” at all other times. 

Thank you.
Asked 8 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

I still don't understand what's wrong with the rule that you either use:

1) Il fait + adjective, or
2) Il y a + noun.

In both corresponding lessons it clearly says that "Il fait (du) soleil" is an exception, sounds childish and shouldn't be used.

You write: (quote) On the other hand, it seems to have been established that “il fait” is often not appropriate when there is an adjective, because it sounds childish.  So, that also does not fit the rule. (unquote)

Where did you get that information? So il fait froid should not be used??? I hear it said all the time.

MillerB1Kwiziq community member

You're looking at the English translations, but the original French. In English we almost always use adjectives with weather.

ChapelA2Kwiziq community member

Someone asked where I got the information.  I didn't have any information about "Il fait froid" for example.  I was just trying to understand the lesson, and thought it contradicted itself. 

Let me explain how this reads to someone who doesn't already know the answers:

1.  In this particular lesson, we are first given a rule about "Il y a" and the weather  Makes sense.

2.  Next we are told not to use "Il fait soleil."  Okay, I wasn't going to do that because I was just instructed to use "Il y a" anyway.

3.  In that SAME paragraph where we are told not to use "Il fait soleil," we are told that "Il fait" should always be followed by an adjective.  But wait, "sunny" is an adjective, so using "Il fait soleil" for "It is sunny" seems to fit the rule.  Now I'm confused.

4.  Two paragraphs later, at the bottom of the page, there is a link to a lesson about using "Il fait" with the weather.  

I think two things are happening to make the lesson less clear for beginners:  (1) It states an exception for "Il fait soleil" before stating the "Il fait" rule, and (2) I just figured out that while "sunny" is an adjective in English, "soleil" is a noun in French, which when used in the idiomatic expression "Il fait soleil" comes out as an adjective (via the idiom), but really isn't.

I understand it now, but can I suggest doing this with the lesson to help beginners more?:

Keep the "Il y a" rule paragraph as you have it.  Then say something like: "It is also common to use 'Il fait' + [adjective] to describe the weather (insert link to other lesson).  However, you generally should not use 'Il fait' with soleil.  This seems to be presented as idiomatic in a lot of French learning methods, and to be perfectly honest, some French people use it. However, it is not good French and still sounds clunky and child-like to many French ears (including mine!). Plus, 'soleil' in French is a noun (the sun) and does not fit our 'Il fait' + adjective rule."  Then you keep the last Note about alternative phrasings.

Just a suggestion.

Il fait should always be followed by an adjective, and il y a used with nouns.

I am confused by the weather lessons, and the rule above in particular. 

All of the examples of “il y a” in this lesson include adjectives, not nouns.  “Sunny,” “windy” etc. are adjectives. 

On the other hand, it seems to have been established that “il fait” is often not appropriate when there is an adjective, because it sounds childish.  So, that also does not fit the rule.

From this lesson, it seems like the rule never holds true. 

Suggestions:

1.  My suggestion is to remove that rule from this lesson altogether, because it is creating confusion.  If you remove it, we are left with the general rule that “To talk about the weather in French, you will use Il y a + du / de la / de l' / des  + noun.”   Maybe it makes sense to remove the noun reference there too, and replace it with [weather condition]? 

2.  If you click the link to the lesson about “il fait + [adjective]” it states that “to talk about the weather in French, you will use the fixed expression “il fait + [adjective]”.  This statement is directly contradictory to the lesson that says  “To talk about the weather in French, you will use ‘Il y a…’”  They have the same lead-in phrase, but come to different conclusions.

***

For my own use, I’m trying to decide if I should be using “il y a” all the time with weather, and avoiding “il fait” altogether…

OR

Using “il fait” only when I am talking about the quality of the weather (good or bad) or the temperature (hot or cold), but using “il y a” at all other times. 

Thank you.

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