wtorek, 30 lipca 2013

It's forty degrees out!

It's been busier than ever here at Editing Perfection for the past few months, so blogging has had to be back-burnered.  (To back-burner something, or move something to the back burner, means to postpone it in favour of more urgent matters.  It's a metaphor based on a stove (UK: cooker), which has four burners--two in the front (for more urgent items) and two in the back.

Lately we've had a heat wave in southern Poland, with temperatures reaching up to 36 Celsius.  This seems like a good opportunity to point out that we DON'T say:

We have 36 degrees of Celsius.

We don't use have when talking about atmospheric temperatures.  We do use have when talking about our body temperature, but we use the following form:

He has a temperature [of 39.8 degrees].

When we're talking about the atmospheric temperature, we use it, as we do in many other weather-related expressions:

It's 36 degrees.

If we want to give the temperature scale, we add it after the number, without of: 

It's 36 degrees Celsius, or about 97 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sometimes we add the word out, to indicate that the temperature we are citing is the outdoor temperature, not the temperature in the house:

It's 36 degrees out.

Remember that we also normally use it to talk about current weather conditions:

It's hot and sunny.
It's hot, hazy and humid.
It's raining.
It's snowing.
It's cloudy and grey.

Here's a typical exchange about the weather:

She:  Have you been outside?  What's the weather like today?
He:  It's hot, hazy and humid.
She:  How hot is it?
He:  It's 36 in the shade.  (Here, we drop the word degrees, and specify that the temperature is measured in the shade, not in full sun).
She:  But it's not raining, is it?
He:  No, but it looks like we might get a thunderstorm later.