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Summer Vocabulary

Let's learn some Spanish expressions related to the summer season.

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Hace, the impersonal form of the verb hacer (to do, to make) is essential to talk about the weather in Spanish. Want to know how to say "it's hot"?

 

Ferné, sopla esa gaita que hace calor.

Ferné, blow those bagpipes 'cuz it's hot.

Caption 75, Calle 13 - Cumbia de los Aburridos

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In Spanish you can talk about the sun as being caliente or caluroso (both words mean "hot") or fuerte (strong):
 

Y no es un sol tan fuerte y tan caluroso como en verano.

And it's not a sun as strong and as hot as during the summer.

Caption 23, Azotea Del Círculo de Bellas Artes - Andrés nos enseña una nueva perspectiva

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Of course, you can also talk about the sun as being radiante (radiant):
 

Como pueden ver es un sol radiante.

As you can see it's a radiant sun.

Caption 45, Cabarete - Charlie el taxista

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Check out how Spanish uses the verb tomar (to take) to express the action of getting sun:
 

Y también me alegra que esté tomando sol porque últimamente está muy pálida.

And it also makes me happy that she is getting sun because lately she's very pale.

Captions 24-25, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido - Part 11

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If you get sun te bronceas (you get a tan), and having una piel bronceada (a tan skin, the verb is derived from the word bronce) is nice. 
 

Ir a tomar sol con ella y su bronceador

Go sunbathe with her and her suntan lotion

Caption 29, Enanitos Verdes - Cuánto Poder

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But if you get too much sun te quemas (you get sunburn)! Some people may even like this, but it's not really a healthy thing to do. You may hear some Spanish speakers use the expression estar quemado as a synonym of estar bronceado:
 

A mí me encanta estar quemada pero este sol me recalienta la cabeza, los sesos, así que me voy adentro.

I love being tan but this sun is overheating my head, my brains, so I'm going inside.

Captions 22-23, Muñeca Brava - 30 Revelaciones - Part 10

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We say it's better to use bloqueador solar (sunscreen), don't you think? Did you notice the verb recalentar (to overheat)?

By the way, the word calor (heat) is one of those Spanish nouns of indeterminate gender, like el sartén/la sartén (the pan), la azúcar/el azúcar (the sugar), etc. This means that both forms of the noun, masculine and feminine, are considered correct by the DRAE. However, the use of one form or the other can tell you a lot about who the speaker is. For example, the use of la calor is common in the coastal regions of Peru and many small town across all Latin America, but it's still considered incorrect (even a sign of lack of education) by many Spanish speakers, who don't necessarily (and why would they) catch up with the many updates and revisions done to the DRAE by the Real Academia Española. Here are two examples:
 

Pero la calor en verano es un poco mala.

But the heat in summer is a bit bad.

Caption 43, Clara y Cristina - Hablan de actividades

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A ti como que el calor te está afectando las neuronas, verdad

For you [it's] like the heat is affecting your brain cells, right?

Caption 26, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concurso - Part 6

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What we do recommend is to stick to the use of only one form, whichever you prefer. If you like to say la calor always use the feminine, if you like to use el calor, well, stick to the masculine. Apply this advice to similar words like el sartén/la sartén (the pan), la azúcar/el azúcar (the sugar). As an exception, the noun la mar/el mar (the sea), a summer word for many indeed, comes to mind. Our take on this word is that you use el mar when talking about the sea in a very practical way, for example:

 

Bajando por todo el mar Mediterráneo

Going down along the whole Mediterranean Sea [coast]

Caption 49, Álvaro - Arquitecto Español en Londres

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and use la mar for when you want to get poetic:

 

Muchos son los talentos que se pierden en la mar

A lot of talents get lost in the sea.

Caption 16, La Mala Rodriguez - La Niña

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