“Summer means happy times and good sunshine.”
Brian Wilson, American musician
We hope you like summer, and no matter where you live, you can enjoy this wonderful season. Even if you are in a place where summer means cool weather and heavy rain, we hope this article will put a smile on your face and help you boost your English vocabulary!
Describing summer weather, you could use not only warm or hot. There are many alternative adjectives and here are some of them.
- Scorching (= very hot) / sweltering (= uncomfortably hot) / boiling (hot) (= extremely hot (informal English)) / roasting / baking hot (= very hot and dry (informal English))
I don’t like going out in scorching weather.
The weather is mostly sweltering now.
I like a milkshake on a boiling hot day like this.
It’s roasting outside.
There is nothing better than a swim on a baking hot day in July.
- Muggy (= unpleasantly warm and humid) / sticky (= muggy; hot and humid) / sultry (= muggy, sticky)
I hate it when it’s muggy – it feels much hotter than it is.
In such sticky weather you sweat like a pig!
This summer is so sultry – there is no way you could escape the heat!
Vacation vs. Holiday
First of all, what is the difference between a vacation and a holiday?
If you mean a period of time during which you relax and enjoy yourself (usually away from home), you can use both holiday/holidays (British English) and vacation (American English).
Do you know the word for a holiday/vacation that you spend in your own home/your own country, relaxing and enjoying leisure activities there? The word is staycation. Of course, it is informal, so make sure you use it in informal situations:
It’s easy to have a staycation in Los Angeles.
Staycation is back in fashion.
Common activities of a staycation include visits to local parks and museums.
No matter how scorching and muggy summer can be, and no matter what kind of vacation one is lucky to have, everyone wants to get some rest. You might like to lie in the sun and have a tan (= to sunbathe), or you might prefer active rest and enjoy sightseeing (= visiting places of interest) or extreme activities like white-water rafting, scuba diving or snorkeling. Whatever your holiday preferences, you might like the following sayings to describe your attitude.
- Work isn’t going anywhere. It means you can postpone your work until your holiday is over and enjoy the free time you have.
- Better late than never. If you happen to have your holiday at the end of the season, this saying might be appropriate.
- A picture is worth a thousand words. You can use this saying talking about a popular tourist attraction which you have seen with your own eyes, and of course it’s much better to see it than to hear or read about it.
- The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill/fence. It’s so typical of us to think that the best place is not where we live. So, next time you visit a cool place like that, you can use this proverb to describe your feelings.
- All good things must come to an end. Any holiday has to end, so this proverb is just right for this unavoidable situation.
- There is no place like home. Do you ever feel homesick at the end of your holiday? Well, if you do, this saying describes your feelings best – East or West, home is best.
At the beach vs. On the beach
So, you are finally at the beach!
By the way, do you know the difference between “at the beach” and “on the beach”? Consider the following situations:
– John is not at work today. Where is he?
– He’s at the beach.
– Lucky him!
– I can’t find John in the (beach) house. Where is he?
– He’s on the beach.
So, “at the beach” is generally used to answer the question “Where is John?”. It’s to say that he is at the beach but not at home, at work, at the hospital, etc. “On the beach” is used when it’s clear that John is at the beach and the speaker/writer wants to emphasize that John is sunbathing, swimming, etc.
Beach vocabulary practice
Click the link here and match the words to the pictures.
Enjoy your summer!