Mandarin Grammar

Talk about Weather

Learning Objectives


  • Learn how to talk about weather in Mandarin Chinese.

Learning Video

Additional Notes

When you ask about “how is the weather today?” In Mandarin, we use “今天天气怎么样, jīn tiān tiān qì zěn me yàng?”

  • “今天, jīn tiān” means “today”.

  • “天气, tiān qì” means “weather”.

  • “怎么样, zěn me yàng" means “how about” in English.


“怎么样, zěn me yàng” is a phrase of a question and usually follows with a noun to ask about the status or condition of the noun.


The grammatical structure is

Noun + zěn me yàng?

Note: it is a "Subject (主语) + Predicate (谓语)" which is also known as Subject-predicate phrase (主语谓语).


For examples,


天气怎么样?

tiān qì zěn me yàng?

How is the weather?

(In this phrase, Subject = 天气 and Predicate = 怎么样)


工作怎么样?

ɡōnɡ zuò zěn me yàng?

How is work?

(In this phrase, Subject = 工作 and Predicate = 怎么样)


To make a “subject-predicate phase” become a complete sentence, we need to add another "subject" before the "subject-predicate phrase".


The grammatical structure is:

Subject + subject-predicate phrase (主语 + 主语谓语)


So, if we talk about "今天天气怎么样, jīn tiān tiān qì zěn me yàng?" (How is the weather today?), we can split the sentence into 2 parts:

  • The first part is “今天, jīn tiān” is a subject, means “today”.

  • The second part is "天气怎么样, tiān qì zěn me yàng" is the subject-predicate phrase, means “How is the weather?”.


Let’s see more examples:


北京天气怎么样?

Běijīng tiān qì zěn me yàng?

How is the weather in Beijing?

(In this sentence, Subject = 北京 and subject-predicate phrase = 天气怎么样)


你工作怎么样?

nǐ gōng zuò zěn me yàng?

How is your work?

(In this sentence, Subject = 你 and subject-predicate phrase = 工作怎么样)


你爸爸身体怎么样?

nǐ bà ba shēn tǐ zěn me yàng?

How is your father?

(In this sentence, Subject = 你爸爸 and subject-predicate phrase = 身体怎么样)


Let’s move on.  How do you respond when a person asks you, "今天天气怎么样,  jīn tiān tiān qì zěn me yàng?" (How is the weather today?)


Let's respond using the grammatical structure which we’ve just learned, 

Subject + subject-predicate phrase (主语 + 主语谓语)


For an example, we can respond:


今天天气太热了。

jīn tiān tiān qì tài rè le。

It's too hot today.


“今天, jīn tiān” is a subject, means “today”.


“天气太热了, tiān qì tài rè le” is subject-predicate phrase, which is composed of a subject "天气, tiān qì” (weather) and a predicate "太 ...了, tài …le".


The predicate “"太 ...了, tài …le”  is used to express a very high degree of meaning with an appropriate adjective putting in the middle of the predicate.


For the predicate “tài rè le”, an adjective “rè” is put in the middle of “tài …le”. In English,“rè” means “hot”, in turn “tài rè le” means “too hot”.


Let’s see more examples,


昨天天气太冷了。

zuó tiān tiān qì tài lěng le。

It was too cold yesterday.


北京天气太热了。

Běijīng tiān qì tài rè le。

It is too hot in Beijing.


However, if the weather is neither cold nor hot, we can also respond,


天气不冷不热。

tiān qì bù lěng bú rè。

The weather is not cold, not hot.


In this sentence,

  • “bù” means “no or not”.

  • “bú rè” means “not hot”.

  • “bù lěng” means “not cold”.


Let see more examples:


北京天气不冷不热。

Běijīng tiān qì bù lěng bú rè。

It is neither cold nor hot in Beijing.


今天天气不冷不热。

jīn tiān tiān qì bù lěng bú rè。

It is neither cold nor hot today.


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