A cold snap/ A cold spell

EnLearner

Senior Member
Spanish
Can I use these words in this way?

"Last year we experienced a cold snap/ a cold spell; it was the first time I experienced -30 degree."
 
  • Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Can I use these words in this way?

    "Last year we experienced a cold snap/ a cold spell; it was the first time I experienced -30 degrees."
    Yep, I'd have no problem hearing that.
    But 'spell/snap' are used for relatively short periods of time, you'd probably need that to be clear, as you can't have an all-year-round 'cold snap/spell'.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Both work but they mean slightly different things.

    "A cold snap", to me, is a sudden drop in temperature overnight that is either unexpected or unseasonable. "A cold spell" could be a prolonged period of cold weather but it may not come on suddenly and it may not be unseasonable.
     

    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    Hi, Mentors,

    I have a related question with this thread.

    Does "a cold current" equal "a cold snap" or "a cold spell" in meanings? Thanks.
     

    Big Gus Dickuss

    New Member
    english
    Both work but they mean slightly different things.

    "A cold snap", to me, is a sudden drop in temperature overnight that is either unexpected or unseasonable. "A cold spell" could be a prolonged period of cold weather but it may not come on suddenly and it may not be unseasonable.
    Jimbo is correct in these definitions, and either of the options in your example is acceptable, so apply the one that most closely fits his guide.

    On the other hand, nobody has yet mentioned the brutal misusage at the end of your example: "degrees" is ALWAYS plural when referring to temperature. Always.

    ;) Yes, even when it's zero degrees outside. ;)


    (Okay, this rule doesn't apply to a temperature of EXACTLY 1 degree, but temperature is virtually never exactly 1 so just consider it a hard rule to always use the plural degrees.)
     
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