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How to use "clima"?

 

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Old August 09, 2011, 11:25 PM
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How to use "clima"?

I stumbled across two words that both mean weather: "tiempo" and "clima". I automatically assumed that tiempo meant localized weather, whereas clima meant climate, or a general regional weather. However, I saw on a website that you could say "¿Cómo está el clima hoy?" which I would assume literally means "How is the climate today?" I would never say this in English, because it's not like the climate "changes" everyday. I would say "How is the weather today?" which in Spanish would translated as "¿Cómo está el tiempo hoy?", wouldn't it?

Is that really what you could ask to ask what the weather was? Does "clima" not mean "climate" like we use it in English? And would it also be okay to ask "¿Cómo está el tiempo hoy?"

Other examples of "tiempo" and "clima" used in context would be much appreciated!
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Old August 09, 2011, 11:52 PM
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None of my dictionaries say clima means weather. It means climate (or atmosphere), just as you thought. That said, I see that clima is used in Mexico the way you said.

I'd stick with "¿Qué tiempo hace?" (What's the weather like?)
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Old August 10, 2011, 12:31 AM
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Ok, I'll stick to using that. But theoretically, you could still ask "¿Qué clima hace?" to ask what the climate was like, right?
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Old August 10, 2011, 01:52 AM
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You should ask "¿Cómo es el clima (en ZZ)?". "Hacer" implies "this moment" and it doesn't work with climate by the sole reason that the weather is like this now and it was like that 12 hours ago, something climate shouldn't be just by definition.
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Old August 10, 2011, 04:47 AM
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I see, and you even changed "está" to "es" because of a climate's implied state of permanence.

But how would you respond to that question? Let's say someone asked you, "¿Cómo es el clima?" and you wanted to say "It's hot" or "The climate is hot". Would "Hace calor" work for that at all? Or could you say "El clima hace calor."?
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Old August 10, 2011, 07:05 AM
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We say:

Timbuctú tiene un clima muy caluroso.
Nome es muy fría casi todo el año.
España Central tiene nueve meses de invierno y tres de infierno.
Atlanta tiene lindas temperaturas, pero es muy húmeda.
San José (Costa Rica) tiene un clima muy agradable.
En Lima el cielo está brumoso todo el año.
En Seattle llovizna día por medio.
El norte de Escocia tiene un clima frío y ventoso.

clima muy caluroso, caluroso, templado, frío, muy frío
clima muy seco, seco, moderadamente seco, moderadamente húmedo, húmedo, muy húmedo
está soleado casi siempre
está nublado casi siempre
llueve constantemente, llueve mucho, llueve bastante, llueve algo, llueve de vez en cuando, rara vez llueve
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Old August 10, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christoferus View Post
I see, and you even changed "está" to "es" because of a climate's implied state of permanence.

But how would you respond to that question? Let's say someone asked you, "¿Cómo es el clima?" and you wanted to say "It's hot" or "The climate is hot". Would "Hace calor" work for that at all? Or could you say "El clima hace calor."?
If you ask "¿Cómo es el clima?", you want to know what the weather is like generally in a specific region.
-¿Cómo es el clima la Ciudad de México? (What's the weather like in Mexico City?)
-Normalmente es templado, más caluroso y seco en primavera y lluvioso en verano. (It's normally temperate, warmer and dry in spring and rainy in summer.)

If you ask "¿Cómo está el clima?", you're asking about current weather conditions:
-¿Cómo está el clima en la Ciudad de México (ahora)? (What's the weather like in Mexico city (now)?)
-Hace sol y la temperatura es de unos 20ºC. (It's sunny and temperature is about 20ºC)

In Mexico, by the way, although it's understood, you will almost never hear "¿cómo está el tiempo?". And TV presenters tend to say "el estado del tiempo" to announce the weather forecast section.
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Old August 10, 2011, 11:21 AM
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"Clima" in the meaning of "weather"? Very strange. It must be some regional use of Mexico, and maybe Central America.

climate = clima
weather = tiempo

climate = weather = clima ---> it doesn't make sense to me. The very same Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas makes clear that "clima" is "el conjunto de condiciones atmosféricas propias de una región" (DRAE: "que caracterizan"). No ambiguity there.

There are lots of regionalism that are simply institutionalized mistakes: Mexican "¿qué me ves?", Argentinian "arriba de la mesa" or Spaniard "está para salir".
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