It is snowy outside

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Sun14

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, my friends,

I was wondering whether the underlined part is idiomatic:

A: How cold it is today.

B: Yes. It is snowy outside.

Thoughts and context: A and B are talking about the weather. B is saying that it is snowing outside.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Hello, my friends,

    I was wondering whether the underlined part is idiomatic:

    A: How cold it is today.

    B: Yes. It is snowy outside.

    Thoughts and context: A and B are talking about the weather. B is saying that it is snowing outside.
    Sentence A is not a question. It's a statement. But it is still normal for B to reply "Yes." meaning "I think so too."

    "Snowy" and "snowing" are different. If B means "it is snowing outside", B will say "It is snowing outside".

    "It is snowy outside" is vague. It could mean there is a lot of snow on the ground, it was snowing earlier, it looks like it will snow, it is snowing now.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Sentence A is not a question. It's a statement. But it is still normal for B to reply "Yes." meaning "I think so too."

    "Snowy" and "snowing" are different. If B means "it is snowing outside", B will say "It is snowing outside".

    "It is snowy outside" is vague. It could mean there is a lot of snow on the ground, it was snowing earlier, it looks like it will snow, it is snowing now.
    Do you mean it is vague but in the circumstance in which it is snowing now, it can be said and it is idiomatic?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Sorry if I was not clear. "It is snowy" does not mean "it is snowing now". It is not an idiom with that meaning. It is not used to say "it is snowing".

    The WR dictionary gives two meanings. One is covered with snow, full of snow. Another is characterized by snow, as the weather: "a snowy day". These match the 4 "could mean"s I listed. A snowy day is a day when it snows at times, or when it looks like it will snow.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Sorry if I was not clear. "It is snowy" does not mean "it is snowing now". It is not an idiom with that meaning. It is not used to say "it is snowing".

    The WR dictionary gives two meanings. One is covered with snow, full of snow. Another is characterized by snow, as the weather: "a snowy day". These match the 4 "could mean"s I listed. A snowy day is a day when it snows at times, or when it looks like it will snow.
    Got it. If I mean it snows at times, is it idiomatic to say it is snowy outside.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Got it. If I mean it snows at times, is it idiomatic to say it is snowy outside.
    Is this a question, Sun-14? If so, the answer depends on what you mean by "It snows at times." Without any context, the sentence would be taken as a general statement about the weather. Or are you referring to the weather on a particular day -- what we might describe as "It's been snowing on and off?" I would only say "It's snowy outside" if it is actually snowing now, or if there is snow on the ground.

    (Actually, I probably wouldn't use "outside" in the sentence, as most listeners could be expected to understand that it is not snowy indoors.)
     
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