The Temperature in English
The temperature is how hot or cold something is.
We use a thermometer to measure the temperature of something.
Temperature is usually measured in degrees.
The ° symbol after a number means degrees.
30° = thirty degrees
There are two main systems used for measuring temperature:
°F = degrees Fahrenheit (used in United States)
°C = degrees Celsius (used in the rest of the world)
When talking about the temperature we normally use:
It + is/was/will be + adjective
- It is chilly today.
- It was warm yesterday.
- It will be cold tomorrow.
Here is a chart showing temperature vocabulary:
The temperatures given are only an approximation to give you an idea of when to use them.
28°C (or more) - Hot
15 to 28°C - Warm
10 to 15°C - Cool
5 to 10°C - Chilly
0 to 5°C - Cold
0°C (or less) - Freezing
Remember, what is hot in one country may only be considered warm in another.
What may be chilly in one country may be freezing in another.
The following words refer to being MORE than hot and are used for temperatures over 30°C.
Boiling: very hot, often used in negative contexts
Humid: hot and damp. It makes you sweat a lot
Muggy: warm and damp in an unpleasant way
Scorching: very hot, often used in positive contexts
Stifling: hot and you can hardly breath
Sweltering: hot and uncomfortable
So what makes a day hot or cold? It depends on the weather…
See our vocabulary notes about the Weather in English.
Check out our list of idioms about the weather
How's the weather today where you live?
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