Cool language for hot weather

little girl on beach
The beach is the best place to be on a hot day!

Living with the heat wave

Where I live, a heat wave has just ended and things are cooling off again. When it's really hot outside, the beach is probably the best place to be.

 

If you can't make it to the beach right now, you probably are doing your best to keep cool. What are your favorite tricks? Cold drinks? Ceiling fans, like the ones in the classic film Casablanca?

ceiling fan
Does this make you think of the movie Casablanca?

Talking about air conditioning

air conditioner in window
Typical for the U.S.: an air conditioner in a window

Or maybe you have an air conditioner. It's true that air conditioners use lots of electricity, but being in an air-conditioned room is a great way to cool off!

 

What words do you need to talk about air conditioning in English? The verb “to air condition” means, as you may already know, “klimatisieren”—in this case, to cool the air and remove excess humidity (=Luftfeuchtigkeit).

 

But here's a surprise: native speakers of English do not use the verb “air condition” very often. In fact, the words that you see here in bold print (=fettgedruckt) are the ones you will usually hear. Take a look at these examples:

  • When we traveled in Mexico, we were very glad that our tour bus was air-conditioned (=klimatisiert).
  • After my first horribly hot summer in Manhattan, I bought an air conditioner (=Klimaanlage) that I could put into the window of my bedroom.
  • Many houses in the U.S. are built with central air conditioning (=Klimatisierung)

 

Now it's your turn!

quiz

Take this short quiz to practice the right words for talking about air conditioning. Write your answers on a piece of paper; then scroll to the bottom of the page to see the answers.

 

Choose the correct word or words to complete these sentences:

  1. It’s quite common in Germany for people to use fans to keep cool in the summer rather than an ____   _______________.
  2. In movie theatres in the U.S., the ____  _________________ is usually turned up so high that you need to bring a jacket or sweater with you to stay comfortable.
  3. For people who are allergic to pollen, it’s important to buy an _________________  car and keep the windows of the car closed. Sneezing (=Niesen) while you are driving can be dangerous!

And the answers are. . .

Here are the correct answers:

  1. air conditioner
  2. air conditioning
  3. air-conditioned

My learning tip for you

Repeat the quiz in a day or two. This will help you remember any words that are new for you.

 

You can also practice with this SlideShare presentation.