Everything you need to know about the four seasons in French!

We all know the four seasons: printemps (spring), été (summer), automne (autumn) and hiver (winter). Being able to talk about the weather and describe current conditions or knowing some popular sayings about the seasons are all significant assets for anyone who wants to learn French.

Everything you need to know about the four seasons in french

The seasons are a universal theme and the perfect way to spark a spontaneous conversation, helping you to improve your speaking skills and integrate more easily with French people. So, how do you talk about the seasons in French?
Why does the French Riviera’s climate make it the perfect location in which to learn French? Why is the theme of the seasons an important one for French people? What grammatical structures should you use when talking about the weather?

The seasons: not as trivial a topic as it might seem

The French attach huge importance to the weather, as proved by the popularity of weather forecasts and the success of special weather apps on smartphones. In common parlance, the expression “parler de la pluie et du beau temps” (literally “to talk about rain and good weather”) is used to refer to trivial small talk.
However, climate change has completely shifted our priorities: now, talking about the seasons in French does not just mean talking about “everything and nothing” but discussing a topic of greater significance. 

Grammar and the seasons

From a grammatical point of view, the seasons – le printemps, l’été, l’automne and l’hiver are all masculine nouns, for example “Nous avons connu un bel automne cette année” (“We’ve had a lovely autumn this year”), “le printemps est pluvieux” (“spring is rainy”). In addition, remember to use “en” and “au” when talking about the four seasons in French: “Je pars toujours en vacances en hiver” (“I always go on holiday in winter”) “nous nettoyons la maison au printemps” (“we clean the house in spring”), “en été, les températures augmentent” (“temperatures rise in summer”) or “les vendanges ont lieu chaque année en automne” (“the grapes are harvested in autumn each year”).

Additionally, you can use the pronoun “il” in descriptions – “il pleut” (“it’s raining”), “il neige” (“it’s snowing”), “il fait chaud” (“it’s hot”, etc.) – or the structure “il y a” – “il y a du verglas ce matin sur la route” (“there’s black ice on the road this morning”), “il y a beaucoup de vent cet après-midi” (“it’s really windy this afternoon”), etc. For temperatures, the verb “faire” is used: “Il fait moins cinq aujourd’hui” (“it’s minus five today”). So be careful when you’re talking about the four seasons of France in French!


The word “printemps” (“spring”) comes from “primu” meaning “first” and “tempus” meaning “time”. Using the word season in French implies that you are viewing the seasons from the point of view of countries in the Northern hemisphere. In this part of the world, spring falls in March, April and May. Spring (the adjectival form in French is “printanier”) is the season of buds and lily of the valley. Synonymous with youth, it marks the end of winter, the revival of nature and the time when we pick “primevères” (“primroses”), which herald beautiful weather.

That is why, for many people, the best season in French is spring, even though it can still be cool at the beginning. After all, as the French saying goes, “en avril, ne te découvre pas d’un fil”, meaning that you shouldn’t trust warm weather in April (literally, “in April, don’t remove a thread [of clothing]”).  

Spring season in french


Summer is now associated with heatwaves, that very hot time when we just want to stay cool or slather on the sun cream and sunbathe. It’s the perfect time for a junior language stay in the South of France! Your teenager will make quick progress thanks to French lessons in smaller groups, a wide range of sports and other activities, events and very comfortable accommodation.

Unless you’d rather take advantage of the gorgeous weather and sign up for our French lessons with relaxation and meditation programme? You’ll be delighted with this combination of interactive French classes and exclusive wellbeing activities.

Summer season in french


In France, autumn conjures up thoughts of the annual return to school in September. At this time of year, the days are getting shorter, the temperatures are starting to cool and the colours that dominate the natural world are changing. “When a sighing begins/In the violins/Of the autumn-song,/My heart is drowned/In the slow sound/Languorous and long” wrote Verlaine in Poèmes saturniens (Autumn Song, translation by Arthur Symons, 1902).

With a little luck, you might enjoy an Indian summer or an “été de la Saint Martin” (“St. Martin’s summer”) when you take an intensive French course of 30 lessons per week in Antibes – a programme aimed at those who really want to make progress!

Autumn season in french


In France, in terms of the calendar, winter begins on 21 or 22 December. While winter is traditionally a time for hibernation, that’s not the case when it comes to learning French in France. Take advantage of low-season rates and the mild climate and come to the Centre International d’Antibes on the French Riviera.

There’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy in our region in winter: flower battles in Nice, the Lemon Festival in Menton, the Chagall museum in Nice, hikes in the Estérel mountains and more.

Winter season in french

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