Episode 03

Tess and Ravi discuss a topic that many British people like to talk about all the time. Can you guess what it is? Adam reports on some of the different ways you said you greet each other.



Adam: Hello and welcome! My name is Adam. Rob is on holiday this week – lucky man! He’ll be back for the next episode.

Thanks for your comments – we love hearing from you. It was really interesting to hear how you greet each other. Adilson Santos sent us a great message telling us the different ways to greet people in Brazil. He said that people who are not close friends just say ‘hi’. If they are better friends, a girl might hug a boy and kiss his cheek, but boys never kiss each other, they only shake hands and boys who are very good friends might hug quickly. He also said that boys don’t really shake hands, they slap their hands together, and that at church he kisses men on the cheek and shakes hands with women.

Isn’t it interesting how complicated greetings can be!

Langtucoiam from Vietnam said that, when meeting an old friend, people will normally shake hands, but again it can be different depending on how close you were, how old your friend is and your friend's sex.

Finally, Hess in the Ivory Coast said that people in his tribe always ask for news when they meet, but they don’t bow or shake hands. He said that two people who slept in the same room will even ask what the news is when they wake up in the morning! I found that fascinating.

Do you remember what Tess and Ravi are doing in this series? They are looking at all the things that people think about when they think about Britain. So, what’s the topic today? Well, it’s something that British people love to talk about. Can you guess what it is?

Tess and Ravi

Ravi: Hi everyone, hi Tess!

Tess: Hi Ravi.

Ravi: Right. I think you know that Tess and I are here to talk about some of the things you think you know about Britain.

Tess: Things like ‘drinking tea’, ‘the Royal Family’ and ‘fish and chips’ – things you think are very British.

Ravi: And what could be more British than today’s weather? It is horrible out there, Tess.

Tess: Is it raining?

Ravi: No, it’s not raining but it’s grey and cold and miserable and… it’s exactly what people said about British weather. We asked our listeners around the world what they think about when they think about Britain and lots of people said ‘British weather’.

Tess: Do people think the weather here is bad?

Ravi: Well, they think it rains a lot – and it does. They think the summer is wet – and it often is, they say that…

Tess: I don’t think British weather is so bad though, do you?

Ravi: I do today.

Tess: It’s true that we don’t have very hot summers but, you know, we don’t have very cold winters either. Britain’s got a temperate climate – that means …

Ravi: A what climate?

Tess: Temperate climate. It means that we don’t have extreme weather – we don’t have very hot summers or very cold winters. But that also means that the weather is quite changeable – the weather changes quite often.

Ravi: Yeah, it can be raining, then five minutes later it’s sunny, then it starts raining again. You never know what the weather is going to be like.

Tess: But that’s a good thing, Ravi. I like that. People sometimes say you can have four seasons in one day in Britain and it’s true.

Ravi: But how can you decide what clothes to wear, Tess? You don’t know if it’s going to be cold or hot or what...

Tess: That’s typical of you, Ravi. And, because the weather does change quite a lot, that’s why British people seem to talk about the weather so much. It’s typical small talk, isn’t it? The sort of thing you say to people when you’re waiting for a bus or something. ‘Nice day today’ or ‘I think it’s going to rain later’. That kind of thing.

Ravi: That’s true. It’s difficult to talk about the weather if the weather’s the same every day. We say ‘I think it’s going to rain later’ because it usually is going to rain. It does rain a lot here.

Tess: Well, I don’t know. I think it’s about the same as other countries in the north of Europe. It’s just that we get rain all year round rather than just in one season. Anyway, the rain means that we have beautiful green countryside. Lots of visitors love the countryside because it looks so green – and that’s because of the rain.

Ravi: Hmm. You know how I feel about the countryside, Tess, but I suppose it does look nice, if you like that kind of thing.

Tess: Lots of people do. I think the British countryside is beautiful – and so do lots of visitors. And it wouldn’t look so green if we didn’t have all that rain!

Ravi: Hmm.


Adam: Mmm, I agree with Tess. I grew up in Scotland and the weather there can be very changeable. You can have hot sun, snow, rain and wind all in one day. People say "If you don't like the weather in Scotland, don’t worry - just wait half an hour and it will change!"

Many people love talking about the weather and there are lots of words about it. I think there are a lot more words to describe bad weather than good weather! Perhaps that’s because when the weather is good, people are too busy enjoying themselves to discuss it.

If it’s dark, you can say that it’s a grey day, perhaps because there are lots of clouds covering all the sky – which means that it’s overcast. That probably means that the weather is miserable and dull. If there’s a very light rain that doesn’t stop, then you can say it’s drizzly – this sort of rain is called drizzle. If the clouds look like they will rain hard soon, then you can say there is an angry sky.

Oh, it’s so much fun complaining about the weather! Now you know why we do it.

Write in and tell us about the climate in your country. Is it always the same or does it change a lot? What are the best times of year and the worst? What temperature do you think is a hot day and what temperature do you think is a cold day?

You can leave your comments on LearnEnglish which is at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish or on Facebook - we’re at ‘Elementary Podcasts’. Look out for the next episode with more news about Carolina! Bye!

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Submitted by amola on Mon, 26/07/2021 - 16:02

Hi. I am from Saudi Arabia sepcific from south close to Yemen . The weather her is changeable but not in a same day ,but in months . to clarify my point - we have nice weather specially in mountains . We have different weahter in general not like other areas her in Saudi Arabia .In my opinion the high temperature is 30 'oc and the cold temperature is -0 . I like what I heared her it is new words like vorecast and grey and drizzle .

Submitted by May Thida Su on Mon, 15/02/2021 - 10:10

HI !!! I'm from Myanmar. Myanmar doesn't like any other countries, it has only three seasons, the hot season, the rainy season and the cold season. It's simple the hot season is hot and the rainy season rains a lot and the cold season is very cold but since a century ago, the climate has changed a lot. In the hot season, the weather wasn't very hot but now the temperature reaches 42 degrees at most and 36 degrees at least. In rainy season, it rained a lot but now it rains very few. And the cold season, the weather was cold not very cold but now it is also hot in the cold season, the temperature reaches 32 degrees at most and 26 degrees at least, that temperature can't be say cold, isn't it? So I want to say is that is usually hot and not cold in all three seasons. It's global warming.

Submitted by Oksserg on Sun, 17/01/2021 - 13:30

The climate was changed in Ukraine during last 10 years. Summer became hot and winter became warmer than earlier. Autumn became longer, drier and warmer, but spring became shorter. There was very snowy in winter, but now the first snow can appear only in January.

Submitted by Sajja on Thu, 31/12/2020 - 12:18

I am Egyptian but I live in Saudi Arabia . You know , the deserts covered many areas in Saudi Arabia so the climate here is sunny and very high temperature often months in the year and dry with low temperature in the winter.

Submitted by jmajo on Wed, 23/12/2020 - 15:01

The weather in the country where I live(Uruguay) changes according to the seasons, in the winter the weather is cold but rarely freezing, the average temperature for that season is 5-18 °C but depends on the year, tough. In the summer is quite hot most of the days, the average temperature is about 28°C but this year we already had some days with 35°C, although it could not be very high for most of the tropical countries, I think is really hot for this part of the globe. Then we have the seasons I like the most, spring and autumn, in spring here the average temperatures generally are between 20-25°C but there is a lot of wind so it's feel nice. In autumn there is more wind and is a bit more cold than spring but not too much to be outside, so it's feels nice to. Despite all that we also can have an angry sky, cold, wind and sun in the same day at different hours in spring and autumn. Thanks for the episode. Great site!

Submitted by Shimah90 on Mon, 26/10/2020 - 18:09

In my country, the climate is desert. The best time of year is spring, when the weather is temperate. The temperature on a hot day reaches 48 And on cold days it reaches 10 or less

Submitted by Mohammedalbassami on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 15:08

Good evening mates I am from Oman. We have normal three season a year . It's summer, spring and winter but in the south county near Yeman there's fall . In summer is very hot reach about 45 and gradually coming back in September during that sometimes it's raining in mountain area because of vapuor sea ,so it goes to there. In winter is temperate weather mostly reach in cities about 25 celecious in midday and 15 in the midnight . Normally it's raining in January and February but it depends every year. In other hand South county exactly salalah city has mosean during summer so it's dizzul three months . My regards to all British council team
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Submitted by gilgoncalves on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 23:46

Hi everyone, I am Gil. from São Paulo, Brazil. We have four seasons per day here. Now, we are living an extremely hot season, for me the best time of the year is the winter, I prefer to use jackets and walking in the streets when the weather is colder.

Submitted by Mazoon AL.Ghssani on Fri, 02/10/2020 - 12:08

Hello, I am from Oman and the weather here is really hot all the year, so the worst time in the year is in summer. We can't go out because of the extreme hot. the temperature reaches about 39. While in the winter, the weather comes very cold and for me it's the best time in the year and the temperature reaches 7.

Submitted by Mohammedalbassami on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 20:13

In reply to by Mazoon AL.Ghssani

Actually it's reach 50 some days in July . Otherwise it depends on which part of our country .
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Submitted by Czar Aaron on Tue, 22/09/2020 - 15:41

Hi everybody! I came from Warsaw in Poland. There have been 4 seasons before climate changed. I remember the snow in the mountains on the South of country in winter. I remember frozen in Warsaw 25 years ago. I was ice skating in the park when I have been child. Now weather is hotter there. Of course in the mountains are ski resorts and runs in the winter but sometimes they have to use a fake snow. In the summer temperature reaches 30-40 degrees of Celsius. In 2016 was heat weather through three mount from June to August. It was nightmare, 35-36 degrees everyday in Warsaw. I looked for the shadow on the streets. I does not like the heat, my favourite weather is 25 degrees in summer and my favourite season is spring. There is short spring now, cold turns into hot quickly. I like weather in London, changeable is better idea. I love long Sprig here and frequency sunny days.

Submitted by maryamalomari on Thu, 03/09/2020 - 06:47

hello the climate in my city "Abha " is temperate, but also changeable, in winter the temperature reaches 0 c, and in summer it less than 30 c it rains a lot and it foggy most days of the year we love it so much.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sun, 16/08/2020 - 01:50

The climate in my country do change, like the rain it's seasonal. The best time of year is summer and worst is the raining season, because its affects many activities. The average temperature for a hot day is between 32-34 °C. While, an average temperature for a cold day ranges from 23 °C below.

Submitted by Saham on Sun, 09/08/2020 - 06:04

I originally from sri lanka, now i am in Melbourne Austalia. The weather here is very similar to Britain. That is one thing i love to be here.All four seasons in one day. Always we looking forward to see the change. That is very possitive. The life is never boaring in Melbourne. I mean never feel tired. Anyway the weather in Sri Lanka is completely different. Very humid. People never talk about the weather unless it is very impprtant.

Submitted by Gulnaziya on Sun, 26/07/2020 - 17:52

Hi, in my country we have four seasons, but I like spring and summer the most, because in spring flowers and trees bloom and in summer the market is full of fresh fruits and vegetables. In summer I have my long holiday and I love swimming in the lake. And about temperature : in winter if the temperature is below 10 degree so that feels really cold in my city, because here the climate and air is wet. In summer , if the temperature is above 20 degree it is really hot. I don't like when it's too hot, because I might start to sweat. Thank you for your podcasts.

Submitted by Em jouri on Tue, 28/04/2020 - 19:44

In my country .the climate is changeable depends on the season, it’s mean the winter season is raining most of the time. we have four seasons which include winter,spring , summer and Autumn. my best time is a winter season because all my family’s gather around fireplace and l like to wear the winter clothes. my worst season is spring because I ’m allergies to flowers,so I can not take breathing .

Submitted by Bruno2020 on Mon, 20/04/2020 - 21:46

The weather in Brazil is very hot all year long!We are a tropical country,so there are a lot of hot days here in Brazil.

Submitted by Soha Akilan on Mon, 20/04/2020 - 07:19

The weather in Palestine is temperate. Spring monthes are absolutely fantastic which are from March to June. The worst month in the country is Auguest when humidity exceeds 100% and temperature reaches more than 50 °c in some regions.

Submitted by Fares1980 on Sun, 22/03/2020 - 13:38

In Algeria the weather is cold and rainy and sometimes snowy in winter, but it's very hot and dry in summer, I think the best season for most people here is spring because there is a temperate climate and you can see a wonderful view at the countryside, all the fields are green

Submitted by Tagreeaad on Fri, 10/01/2020 - 13:51

I live in KSA the weather in general is very hot in summer and in winter is very cold but some country the weather is temperate.
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Submitted by Thuan Tran on Mon, 06/01/2020 - 01:35

Hello, I am in Vietnam. The climate in my country is different in Britain. We have two seasons a year, a wet season and a dry one. Its rainy in the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th month of the year. The weather is hot around the year so I don't know what the best or the worst time is. I think in the 11th, 12th, 1st of month, the weather is better than the other months, the weather is not too hot. Normally in my country, at noon, the weather is the hottest, it can be reach 38 degree centigrade. In the evening, when the sun goes down completely, the weather will be cool, but not cold.

Submitted by Abdo sleem on Fri, 22/11/2019 - 07:44

The climate in our country is change a lot Very hot in summer and very cold in winter the best time is when winter start and the worst is the summer there are a lot of humidity,hot wind and dusts.

Submitted by Russell_S on Wed, 06/11/2019 - 01:18

Can "raining" be used in the present perfect? A well known text book says that "How long has it been raining?" is in the present perfect. Do they mean present perfect continuous or is raining a gerund? Hope you can enlighten!

Submitted by Ginwan Elgasim on Wed, 09/10/2019 - 12:47

hi the weather in my country it is changeable in the autumn,the best time for me in the winter i found fascinating. the temperature in the hot day maybe arrive 45 degree,and in the cold day is 13 to 9 degree it is not very cold.

Submitted by carlosjprieto on Thu, 19/09/2019 - 12:43

Hello , I am from Medellín , Colombia but I live in Lima . Here the weather is forever cloudy and gray. Only in the summer ( january , february and march ) is sunny. Some days are drizzle and floor is wet . The months colders are june and July. The weather is very humid. A curious data never rain in Lima only drizzle but not more. The sunset in summer is beautiful and amazing

Submitted by Mamo19 on Mon, 02/09/2019 - 23:08

Sorry, I fail one sentence : "...but the temperature is not changeable."

Hello Mamo19,

We often describe the weather as changeable but we don't usually use the word to describe temperature.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Mamo19 on Mon, 02/09/2019 - 23:03

Repeatedly, we consider having one season in Haïti : the sunny one. Perhaps from June to December we are under cyclone threat which could be a raining time, and that could be called the worst season. That doesn't mean we could not have one or more raining day (s) at any time ; nut the temperature in sot changeable. In Summer it is very hot time (less than 30 °C a day) while in December it's cold (about 20°C a day). To summarize almost the whole year maintain great temperature. It's the reason why lots of foreign people love this country.

Submitted by DenM on Wed, 26/06/2019 - 08:32

In Russia, actually, the weather is depend on the region. In Krasnodar, for example, the weather is hot mostly. Black sea coast is the main resort of Russia with very hot summer, warm sea and so on. And, there is the Verkhoyansk on the other side of the country. It is the coldest city in the world. The temperature can go down to minus 67 C there (I've never been there actually). I think, in St. Petersburg the weather is as changeable as in Britain. In a whole, in the centre of Russia, the weather is very different depending on the season. The temperature can vary from + 30 in summer to - 30 in winter. There is a lot of snow in the winter, and it's very cool. But I suppose Russians in the central Russia and especially on the North of the Country don't have enough sundays. Please, don't be shy to point me to mistakes. Thank you very much.
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Submitted by Duy Nguyen on Sat, 22/06/2019 - 08:58

I live in Vietnam and the weather here is different between the north and the south of my country. We have 4 seasons in the north: spring, summer, autumn and winter while there is two clear seasons in the south: dry and rainy season. I grew up in Southwest of Vietnam where belongs to Mekong Delta area, so we have a typical season is the flood season. It begins from June to November annual. To most of people, flood seems not to be an expected thing but the farmers in my hometown treasure it much. It brings fishes, shrimps and alluvial soil to this land. I love the seasonal transition when I can feel the change of people and natural landscape clearly. This time is in rainy season so you can see all type of rain such as heavy, drizzle, pour, spit even iced rain but it's fairly rare

Submitted by parisaach on Sat, 27/04/2019 - 05:01

The weather in my country change in every city . in the north of my country the climate is temperate it usually rainy and it can has hot summers but it usually mild and lovely. In the south of my country the weather is hot and it rearly rains . in deserts the weather is hot by days and cold by nights. in some part of west and east and north of my country the weather is cold and snowy in winters. but in my city weather is dry it rearly snowy and most of the year it is sunny or cloudy and sometimes rainy

Submitted by anton from tyrol on Fri, 22/03/2019 - 17:04

I live in the north of Italy, here the winter is cold and damp, and the summer is very hot. The best season is the spring, specially May and June the weather is mild and there are many flowers. But if you go in the Alps the winter is very cold and snowing and the summer is fantastic, with mild weather.
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Submitted by Ethel on Thu, 14/03/2019 - 14:02

The climate is mild in my region of my country. Winter is not very cold and summer is quite warm. But my country is so extensive, that in the Northeast it is very warm, subtropical; in the Northwest it is a mountain climate, dry and cold; and in the South it can be extremely cold, with snow and icy wind, like in our Antarctic.

Submitted by cadu on Fri, 01/03/2019 - 16:58

The weather changes a lot in Bogota, COLOMBIA, In the same day do you have a bright sun and a cold rain. It’s very important that you wear all climate clothes. The cold temperatur could be 6 Celsius degrees and the hottest 23 Celsius degrees. I think that the weather is very similar to London
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Submitted by Brenoabarbosa on Fri, 01/03/2019 - 14:46

Hi, my name is Breno and I'm from Brazil. In my country, the weather is the same. It is always very hot. It raining only in the summer. And not to do cold. I never saw snow.

Submitted by paulystano on Tue, 26/02/2019 - 13:35

Hello everyone! In São Paulo we also have 4 seasons in a day and I think its not so good. I agree with Ravi and we never know what kind of clothes we can use and we have to charge the umbrella all the time.

Submitted by Mohammed Alsakkaf on Sat, 23/02/2019 - 18:37

Hello from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The weather here is pretty hot especially in summer when temperature reaches 40-43!!!, but we got used to it. Actually, my favorite season is Autumn when it rains heavily here. although temperature here reaches 17 no less, we feel so freeze(:

Submitted by Ekaterina80 on Mon, 18/02/2019 - 13:22

Hello!I am from Russia. Probably, you think the weather in Russia is coold, but it is false. I live in Voronezh and the weather here is brilliant. We have snow in winter and we have a hot summer,too hot(probably),the temperature averages from -5to -10 in the winter and from +27 to+35 in the summer.

Submitted by nikoslado on Thu, 24/01/2019 - 20:48

In Greece, normally- but, unfortunatelly, typically during the last forty years- we used to have four beautiful, seasons, like all the Mediteranian countries.But now, year after year,we see tremendous climate changes.There are no longer those great separate seasons with their own distinct features.There is no longer those flowering quartely springs and those melancholy but still beautiful autumns.There are more or less, two main ''seasons'', summer and winter. And during these seasons, we often have extreme weather phenomenon....So the temperature averages from -15 to 20 Celsius degrees in the winter and 25 to 40 degrees in the summer...
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Submitted by diegoinglese on Thu, 03/01/2019 - 15:49

Comment for episode 3 Hello everyone! From Italy La Spezia The climate in my town is temperate in outumn and spring some times rains . When come the winter the time it is a bit freezing , the climate become wet and there are about three or five degrees . The best time for the weather in my town is summer , hot sunny day and dry . I think that thirty-six degrees it is ok for a hot day , cold day between five or ten degrees! Now probably will the snow , it's freezy time !

Submitted by mali on Sun, 23/12/2018 - 14:40

Hello every on In my country weather id do varied I mean we have 4 seasons but actually , some cities experience extreme weather for example in the south climate is hot and only in the winters people turn off their coolers as in some another in the north-west are frizing. by the way during the season the climate is permanent and capable to forecast. Here the spring is amazing and I think the summer is the worst season. To sum up our country mostly located in a dry and hot climate. Lately there is some changing is happened in the world and I can see this changes that are manifested as unforeseen floods and some shower rains and winds. I hope everything goes well and we can all together save our home the beautiful earth.

Submitted by hanni_abdrzk on Fri, 14/12/2018 - 19:45

Hi, hanni from Egypt! first of all I'm in love with the weather of Britain.. actually not just Britain the north of Europe in general because the idea of having a changeable weather is great, in my country we don't have that and it's so boring!.

Submitted by Nancy Nguyen on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 14:02

Hi everyone, I am from Vietnam, so the climate is tropical. We just have 2 seasons: dry and rainy. In the dry season, the weather is very hot and the highest temperature up to 39 degrees Celcius. About the rainy season, it rains all the day that causes the flood. In my city, it's so terrible when it's rain, it makes the traffic jam and drown. I wish I can touch the snow in the winter.

Submitted by Yury Taborsky on Thu, 29/11/2018 - 20:48

The climate in my country (Ukraine) is very different. In summer, temperatures can be 40 degrees above 0, and the weather can be very dry or wet, rain and thunderstorms. In winter, the weather is mostly wet or frosty with snow. The temperature can be 20 degrees below 0 and once every 10 years can be 40 degrees below 0.
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Submitted by Oksi1001 on Sat, 17/11/2018 - 18:26

I live in the most western city of Russia in Kaliningrad. We have got the same weather as in Britan.There is changeble,wet and often raining weather. And we also have soft climate without extreme weather. Generally there is warm summer and temperature from 20 to 25 degrees. Unexpektedly this Jule and August were so hot,about 30 degrees every day .Rains was not often,amazingly. In the winter temperature is in average from +10 to -5 degrees.Even the winter can be raining and often without snow.

Submitted by Montselo on Fri, 16/11/2018 - 20:00

Hello! In Spain the climate is beautifull. In summer the temperature can be very hot, near 40º, but, according the zone, the nights are cool. In this autumn, it's rain frecuently wich is causing many floods... The winter are mild, but the last year was very cold and the snow come to see us!

Submitted by Mahougbe on Mon, 29/10/2018 - 15:42

Hello! Here in Benin, we have four seasons in a year: two dry seasons and two others rainy ones. During the great dry season, December to February, we have the harmattan which is harder in the north of the country, sometimes followed by terrible drought. In that season, the temperature could reach about fourty degree Celcius. About the rainy seasons, we don't like them because, they leads to a lot of floods, overall at the south.

Submitted by Nicolei on Sat, 27/10/2018 - 08:08

Hy guys, at first, I would like to thank you for your great podcasts. Your work helps a lot of people to understand the most important language in the world. In my first job, I cleaned cars for five Mark in a small car repair station. It was a really interesting time and it helped to improve on my pocket money during school time.

Submitted by Nicolei on Sat, 27/10/2018 - 08:36

In reply to by Nicolei

Hello everyone, please stop wondering, I made a mistake. My above-mentioned comment is to episode 4. I am sorry.