France in Autumn - the Eiffel Tower in front of a beautiful sky

How to Talk About Seasons in French

If you want to talk about the weather or time of year in French, knowing how to talk about the seasons is essential.

A season in French is translated as une saison , and there are four distinct seasons in France: le printemps (spring), l’été (summer), l’automne (autumn/fall) and l’hiver (winter).

Keep reading to find out how to talk about seasons in French, with the names of the seasons themselves, as well as plenty of season-related vocabulary!

Contents

The Basics: How to Say the Seasons in French

Below is a look at the names of the seasons in French:

FrenchEnglish
l'hiverthe winter
le printempsthe spring
l'ététhe summer
l'automnethe autumn (also: fall)

To talk about the seasons themselves, use a direct article. For example:

L’hiver est froid.
Winter is cold.

Ma saison préférée est l’automne.
My favorite season is autumn.

On the other hand, using these seasons with the prepositions en  or au  gives them the meaning of “in the” or “during the.” These prepositions are useful if you want to talk about things that happen during a certain season:

FrenchEnglish
au printempsin the spring
en hiverin the winter
en étéin the summer
en automnein the autumn (in the fall)

Note that printemps is the only season to take au (literally translated as “to the”). The other three seasons all take en (in):

Les canards reviennent au printemps.
The ducks return in the spring.

J’irai en Europe en été.
I will go to Europe in the summer.

Vocabulary for L’hiver (Winter)

Snow on the mountains

L’hiver in France typically consists of the months of janvier , février and mars  (January, February and March). This time of year is characterized by cooler weather and even snow in the northern or mountainous regions of the country.

Let’s check out some common vocabulary associated with l’hiver.

FrenchEnglish
la neigesnow
le bonhomme de neigesnowman
la boule de neigesnowball
la glaceice
le froidthe cold
Il fait froid.It is cold.
J'ai froid.I am cold.
le patin à glaceice skating
le skiskiing
faire du skito ski
le snowboardsnowboarding
le glaçonicicle
les gantsgloves
le bonnethat
le manteaucoat
les bottesboots

To see these words in action, let’s use a couple of them in a few example sentences:

En hiver, je porte mes gants, mon chapeau et mon manteau. Il fait froid et il y a beaucoup de neige. Je fais du ski et du snowboard.

During the winter, I wear my gloves, my hat and my coat. It is cold, and there is a lot of snow. I ski and snowboard.

Vocabulary for Le Printemps (Spring)

Group of white and yellow flowers

Le printemps typically consists of the months of avril , mai and juin  (April, May and June). This is the time of year when the weather starts to warm up and plants begin to grow again, filling the landscape with green trees and beautiful flowers.

Here’s some common vocabulary associated with le printemps:

FrenchEnglish
la fleurflower
la tulipetulip
le papillonbutterfly
la pluierain
le parapluieumbrella
l'arc-en-cielrainbow
un oiseaubird
une abeillebee
le nuagecloud
Il fait frais.It is cool.
un imperméablea raincoat

Now let’s use a couple of these words in a sample paragraph:

Au printemps, les oiseaux retournent du sud. Il fait frais et il y a beaucoup de pluie. Je porte un imperméable et j’adore toutes les fleurs.

During the spring, the birds return from the south. It is cool, and there is a lot of rain. I wear a raincoat, and I love all the flowers.

Vocabulary for L’été (Summer)

People relaxing on the beach in the summer

L’été typically consists of the months of juillet , août and septembre  (July, August and September). Like in North America, l’été is the hottest time of the year. As such, students are often on summer holidays, and people are social with lots of outdoor activities and parties.

Let’s look at some common vocabulary to celebrate l’été:

FrenchEnglish
le soleilsun
la chaleurheat
Il fait chaud.It is hot.
J'ai chaud.I am hot.
la caniculeheatwave
la tempêtestorm
la plagebeach
la crème solairesunscreen
la piscinepool
nagerto swim
les lunettes de soleilsunglasses
le maillot de bainswimsuit
la pastèquewatermelon
le shortshorts
les sandalessandals
les tongsflip-flops
le parasolbeach umbrella
les vacancesvacation

Now, let’s set the scene for a hot and relaxing summer day:

En été, je vais souvent à la plage. Je porte mon maillot de bain, mes tongs et mes lunettes de soleil. J’aime nager et manger de la pastèque. 

During the summer, I often go to the beach. I wear my swimsuit, my flip-flops and my sunglasses. I like to swim and eat watermelon.

Vocabulary for L’automne (Fall)

Leaves on the ground and autumn trees

L’automne typically consists of the months of octobre , novembre and décembre  (October, November and December). During this time of year, the leaves on the trees begin to change colors and fall, and the weather becomes cool again.

Some common vocabulary associated with l’automne is:

FrenchEnglish
un arbretree
la feuilleleaf
un tas de feuillesa pile of leaves
le changement de couleur des feuillesthe changing color of the leaves
la citrouillepumpkin
tailler une citrouilleto carve a pumpkin
le ventwind
la rentréereturn to school
un pullsweater
la récolteharvest
un râteaurake
un coupe-venta windbreaker
la tarte aux pommesapple pie
le maïscorn

During the autumn, you might say the following:

En automne, on voit le changement de couleur des feuilles. Je mange la tarte aux pommes et du maïs. Je porte un coupe-vent et je taille une citrouille.

During the autumn, we see the changing of the leaves. I eat an apple pie and some corn. I wear a windbreaker, and I carve a pumpkin.

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How to Practice Seasons in French

Here are some of the best practice resources available around the web:

 

A good base of French vocabulary is always in season. Now go forth and use your newly-acquired vocabulary to talk about any season in French!

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