Summer has just begun and when we think about summer holidays, we can’t help thinking about the weather. There are places in the world where the sun is virtually guaranteed in July and August, but in other locations, we may not be that lucky…
English learners encounter weather-related expressions pretty early in the course of their studies – everybody knows that they constitute a must-have element of British small talk. Some of these idioms can be quite interesting. If you are determined to go to a concert in the park regardless of the weather, you could say that you are going to go come rain or shine. But you might want to think twice if the forecast says that it will be raining cats and dogs. In that case, anyway, the organizers of the concert may postpone the concert and offer you a rain check.
That last expression has uses beyond talking about the weather – if a store where you want to buy something is out of stock, they may give you a rain check, i.e. guarantee that you will be able to buy the item later at the same price. In fact, there are more expressions in English that seem to be about the weather but are in fact much more general in meaning. Some of them have parallels in Polish, but we have to remember about slight differences. A misunderstanding or a fight that’s blown out of proportions is a storm in a teacup, not in a glass of water. And it’s important to remember that one swallow doesn’t make a summer.
Others may be less obvious. If a friend does not stick with you in times of trouble, he or she is a fair-weather friend. If someone is feeling unwell, or has had a few drinks too many, you can say they are under the weather. And if things keep going from bad to worse, you can be justified in saying it never rains but it pours.
But whatever the weather turns out to be in the summer, everybody should make sure that their vacation is not a busman’s holiday. This one you can check for yourself.
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