seasons in spanish

How to Talk About the 4 Seasons in Spanish

Learning the seasons in Spanish is crucial, especially since Spanish-speaking countries span various climates and hemispheres.

“Season” has two distinct translations in Spanish, la estación and la temporada. Since we’re talking about different parts of the year with distinct weather patterns rather than a sport or fruit season, the correct translation is la estación.

The four main seasons in Spanish are: la primavera (spring), el verano (summer), el otoño (autumn) and el invierno (winter).

But some countries also have la estación lluviosa (rainy season) and la estación seca (dry season).

In this post, you’ll learn 50+ seasonal vocabulary words and how to talk about them with correct grammar (thanks to tons of example sentences).

Contents

La Primavera — Spring

Everyone loves spring, right? The world starts to wake up after its winter hibernation, leaves return to the trees and flowers start to bloom. 

Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can describe this beautiful time of the year:

To learn more spring vocabulary, check out our in-depth post here:

El Verano — Summer

Summer has got to be the most hyped season—and for good reason! Life just feels easier in summer, and everyone seems happier.

If you’re part of the majority who love summer, it’s worth knowing some of the major summer vocabulary in Spanish: 

For more summer vocabulary, check out this post:

El Otoño — Autumn

Autumn is the most underrated season in my opinion.

It’s a welcome respite after the heat of summer, and (depending on where you live, of course) the colors in the world around you make autumn incredibly beautiful.

It’s also the time of year it’s acceptable to start drinking pumpkin spice lattes again—yay!

Let’s have a look at some autumnal vocab:

In the mood to learn more autumn vocabulary? Check out this post:

El Invierno — Winter

Lastly we have winter. Probably the most polarizing of the seasons, winter is undeniably as cozy as it is powerful. 

Love it or hate it, it comes around every year and there’s no stopping it—so you may as well learn how to describe it in Spanish!

You can wrap up your winter Spanish studying with this post:

More Seasons in Spanish

It’s important to note that some places close to the equator experience little seasonal variation. The seasons are often broken down into two: la estación lluviosa (rainy season) and la estación seca (dry season).

Here are some important vocabulary words you need to describe these types of climates.

La Estación Lluviosa — Rainy Season

La Estación Seca — Dry Season

How to Talk About the Weather and Seasons in Spanish

trees in a field showing pretty flowers and new growth

When to Use Hay, Hace and Estar

In Spanish, there are three words you can use (and will hear) very often when describing the weather: hay, hace and estar.

Hay is the present simple form of the verb haber. It means “there is/are” and expresses something’s existence. When it comes to weather, you’ll hear expressions using hay after words like “clouds,” “sun” and “hail.” For example:

Hay nubes.
(It’s cloudy. Literally, “there are clouds.”)

Hay sol.
(It’s sunny. Literally, “there is sun.”)

Hay granizo.
(It’s hailing. Literally, “there is hail.”)

Hace is used to describe the sensation of the weather—or, how it feels. It translates literally to “it makes” and is commonly used with nouns like calor (heat) and frío (cold). These words are often translated into English as adjectives, which can make it confusing to understand. For example:

Hace frío.
(It’s cold. Literally, “it makes cold.”)

Hace calor.
(It’s hot. Literally, “it makes heat.”)

Hace fresco.
(It’s cool. Literally, “it makes cool.”)

Estar is used with more descriptive and specific adjectives that describe the state of the weather, not the sensation, just like hay. For example:

Está soleado.
(It’s sunny.)

Está húmedo.
(It’s humid.)

Está nublado.
(It’s cloudy.)

Describing weather in Spanish is a little more complicated than in English, where we simply use the verb “to be” to describe everything we see and feel. But the more you interact with Spanish—consuming content, talking with native speakers, etc.—you’ll find these simple grammar rules become second nature.

I also recommend trying an immersion program like FluentU, which lets you watch authentic Spanish videos to learn tricky words like hay, hacer and estar in context.

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When to Use Definite Article for Spanish Seasons

The definite article is used with the seasons more often than in English. This is true in both singular and plural forms.

Note the definite articles el, la, los and las—all equivalent to English “the”in these examples:

El otoño es mi estación favorita.
(Fall is my favorite season.)

El invierno ya viene.
(Winter is coming.)

Los veranos en el Mediterráneo son muy suaves.
(Summers in the Mediterranean are very mild.)

There are exceptions though, specifically after the verb ser (to be) or the prepositions en or de (usually “in” or “of” in English).

For example:

Es verano en España pero invierno en Argentina.
(It’s summer in Spain but winter in Argentina.)

Siempre tengo sueño en otoño.
(I’m always sleepy in the fall.)

Los días de invierno son muy cortos.
(Winter days are too short.)

When to Use Seasons in Adjective Form and Verb Form

In English, the nouns for seasons can become the following adjectives: spring, summery, autumnal/fall and wintery.

Spanish also has these adjective forms: primaveral (spring), veraniego (summery), otoñal (autumnal/fall) and invernal (wintery).

Like most adjectives in Spanish, they go after the noun.

Take a look at these sentences:

El tiempo primaveral es agradable.
(Spring weather is comfortable.)

El sol veraniego puede ser peligroso.
(The summery sun can be dangerous.)

Hay muchas tradiciones durante las fiestas otoñales.
(There are many traditions during the fall holidays.)

Este tiempo invernal es perfecto para Navidad.
(This wintery weather is perfect for Christmas.)

“Summer” and “winter” are also used as verbs in English, such as in the sentence, “My family always summers in the south of France.”

Similarly, verano and invierno have verb forms in Spanish: veranear and invernar.

They’re both -ar verbs and conjugated accordingly. Read through some examples:

Ella normalmente veranea junto a su familia.
(She usually summers together with her family.)

Desearía poder invernar en Cancún.
(I wish I could winter in Cancún.)

Seasons in Spanish Practice Quiz

Without looking at the definitions or translations above, translate these sentences into Spanish to test how much your seasonal vocabulary has grown:

1. Season

2. Summer

3. Winter

4. Spring

5. Fall/autumn

6. It’s very cold today

7. It’s so sunny

8. It’s cloudy

9. It’s raining and hailing

10. She usually summers in Spain

 

Answers:

1. La estación / la temporada

2. El verano

3. El invierno

4. La primavera

5. El otoño

6. Hace mucho frío hoy

7. Hay mucho sol / está muy soleado

8. Hay nubes / está nublado

9. Está lloviendo y granizando

10. Ella normalmente veranea en España

 

Knowing how to talk about the seasons in Spanish opens up a whole world to you. Spanish-speaking countries aren’t just summer vacation spots anymore.

Now you can communicate all year round, from icy winters in the Andes mountains to flowery springs in Andalusia.

Whenever and wherever you decide to go, just take this vocabulary with you.

And One More Thing…

If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:

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FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.

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Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.

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Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

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The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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