Talking About Fall in Spanish: Vocabulary, Poems and Songs

Otoño en español

Fall is here, so let’s look at some vocabulary that will come in handy for talking about fall in Spanish, otoño en español.

Colores (Colors)

One of the first things that you think about when you think of fall is probably the colores hermosos (beautiful colors) of the hojas (leaves). At this time of year, the leaves turn rojas (red), anaranjadas (orange), or doradas (gold), before they turn marrones (brown) and caen (fall) onto the ground. Here are some leaf-peeping phrases for talking about fall in Spanish.

  • Las hojas están cambiando de color.
    The leaves are turning color.
  • Los árboles son hermosos en esta época del año.
    The trees are beautiful this time of year.
  • Las hojas caen de los árboles.
    The leaves are falling off the trees.
Comienza a hacer frío (It’s getting colder.)

The other thing you think about when you think of autumn is the clima (weather). Depending on where you live, fall may be frío (chilly) or lluvioso (rainy), and the skies may be grises (gray) and nublados (cloudy).  Or you may live in a place where the weather doesn’t really change much, so fall is soleado (sunny) and cálido (warm), just like the rest of the year. If you do live in a place with seasons, though, here are some phrases to help you talk about the weather when you’re talking about fall in Spanish.

  • Está lluvioso y nublado.
    It’s rainy and cloudy.
  • Los días son frescos y las noches son muy frías.
    The days are chilly and the nights are cold.
  • El viento sopla las hojas.
    The wind is blowing the leaves.
  • El cielo está gris.
    The sky is gray.
Los días son más cortos (The days are getting shorter.)

¿Recordaste atrasar tu reloj? (Did you remember to turn your clock back?) The days were already getting shorter before el tiempo de ahorro de luz (Daylight Savings Time), but now it gets oscuro (dark) very early. El sol sale (The sun rises) earlier, so you have more light in the morning, but el sol se oculta (the sun sets) in the late afternoon in a lot of places.

Ropa de otoño (Autumn clothes)

All of these fall changes probably mean a change in your wardrobe, too. It’s time to pack away tu ropa (your clothes) for clima cálido (warm weather) and get out your chaqueta (jacket), suéteres (sweaters), sombrero (hat), and maybe your chaqueta impermeable (raincoat). And it may be time to put an extra cobija (blanket) on the bed.  If you live somewhere that gets very cold in the winter, it’s probably still too early for your abrigo de invierno (winter coat), botas (boots), bufanda (scarf), and guantes (gloves), but that will be here soon enough.

Humor otoñal (Autumn mood)

If you like la calma, las tardes tranquilas  (calm, quiet evenings), and maybe un buen libro (a good book) and una taza de té (a cup of tea), you probably enjoy the fall. If you like la luz solar (sunlight), los días largos (long days), and el clima cálido (warm weather), you might find fall deprimente (depressing) and triste (sad), like that poem of Evaristo Carriego: «El otoño, muchachos» (The Autumn, boys):

Otoño melancólico y lluvioso
¿qué dejarás, otoño, en casa este año?
¿qué hoja te llevarás? Tan silencioso
llegas que nos das miedo.

Melancholic and rainy Autumn 
What will you leave, Autumn, at home this year?
What leaf will you take with you? So quietly
You arrive that you scare us. 

Autumn might be sad, but at least inspire great poemas (poems) and canciones (songs) like the classic of José Luis Perales: «Canción de otoño» (Autumn Song).  Autumn also means that la primavera (spring) is closer now than it was in the summer!

Whether you say me encanta el verano, es mi época del año favorita (I love fall, it’s my favorite season!) or no me gusta el verano, es oscuro, frío y deprimente (I don’t like fall, it’s dark and cold and depressing), we wish you a happy and healthy season.

Take Your Spanish Further

Be sure to check out our other posts about Spanish for more vocabulary, grammar, and culture. If you’re looking for convenient and affordable live Spanish lessons with a real teacher, check out The Language Garage. Our lessons are given online in a virtual classroom, so it doesn’t matter where you live or work – we can come to you. And we have both private and small group lessons, with a free trial so that you can decide if there’s a fit. Give us a try!

Image by Miguel Ángel García on Flickr.

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