Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

4 American English Expressions for a Rainy Day

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 @ 08:04 AM

rainy day English expressions woman in the rainDo you like rainy weather?

Last week I took a vacation to the beach and the weather was beautiful all week except for the last day of my vacation. It was pouring all day on Friday!

I thought that I would get drenched (really wet) on my way to the train, but luckily the rain stopped by 5pm. In today's lesson, you will learn 4 new expressions that you can use when you talk about rainy weather. Check it out!



1) To get rained out

party rained outAn event gets "rained out" when it is canceled because of rain. Sometimes weddings or picnics or barbecues or soccer games get rained out. Here is a sample dialogue:


Joe: Hey how was the Red Sox game on Friday?

Jim: Actually the game never happened. It got rained out.

Joe: Oh what a bummer. Are they going to refund your tickets?

Jim: Yeah, I think so.



2) When it rains it pours

when it rains it pours, cars in the parking lot

This expression means that a lot of things tend to happen at the same time. Those could be good or bad things. Here is an example:

Joe: How is your job search going?

Jim: Actually I had been applying to jobs for months and I hadn't heard back from any of the employers, but then last week I got three interview offers.

Joe: Wow, congratulations! I guess when it rains, it pours.



3) It's raining cats and dogs

raining cats and dogs

When it's "raining cats and dogs" it is raining very very hard. Here is a sample conversation:

Joe: It looks like it's raining out. Are you still going to go for a run?

Jim: I don't know, maybe later I will go out when it slows down. Right now it's raining cats and dogs and I don't want to go outside.

Joe: Sounds good, I will give you a call if it slows down to a drizzle.




4) Rain or shine

rain or shine

This guy in the picture (right) wanted to take a bike ride "rain or shine."

We say "rain or shine" when we mean that something will happen regardless of the weather and the event won't be canceled if it rains.

Sample conversation:

Joe: When is your birthday party?

Jim: Next Saturday night-we are all meeting at the beach cottage.

Joe: That sounds great, but I heard that it's supposed to rain next Saturday.

Jim: Well we are going to have the party rain or shine, so come anyways!

Joe: Ok, that sounds good. I'll be there!


What other rain expressions have you heard in the past? Please write your ideas in the comments section! If you have a question about a specific expression, send me an email at


Thanks for reading and good luck with your English this week!



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Photo credits: garryknight, Pirate Alice, Alexander Somma, JaseCurtis, ebis50

Topics: English Lessons, Vocabulary Workshop, English Idioms

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