Rain, rain, go away!

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 November, 2008, 12:00am

'The rain makes still pools on our sidewalk. The rain makes running pools in the gutter. The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night' Langston Hughes, American poet

A rain check

Do you know what these 'rain' nouns mean?

1. a rain forest

a) a forest in a desert region

b) a dense tropical forest in an area of very heavy rainfall

2. acid rain

a) the strongest form of acid

b) rain that contains harmful chemicals as a result of burning coal and oil

3. a rain diverter

a) a device attached to a wall or door that keeps rain water off the surface to prevent leakage

b) a device that charts rainfall

4. a rain check

a) a map that shows how much rain is going to fall

b) a ticket given for later use when an outdoor event is postponed because of rain

5. a rain gauge

a) an umbrella

b) a device for measuring rainfall

6. a rain mate

a) waterproof trousers

b) a fold-up plastic hat to wear when it rains

7. a rainmaker

a) a television weather presenter

b) a person who induces rainfall

8. a raindrop

a) a severe rainstorm

b) a single drop of rain

9. a rainbow

a) a curved band of colours seen in the sky when the sun shines through rain

b) a type of fish

10. a raincoat

a) a coat made from a very shiny material

b) a waterproof coat

A rainy day

What do these 'rain' phrases mean?

1. to save for a rainy day

a) to never have any money in the bank

b) to save some money for an unexpected event in the future

2. to rain down

a) to rule a country

b) to fall from above in large amounts

3. to rain something off

a) to stop raining

b) to cause an event to be stopped because of rain

4. come rain or shine

a) never

b) whatever happens

5. I'll take a rain check on that

a) I never want to do what you have suggested

b) I can't do what you suggest now, but I'd like to do it at a later time

6. to be right as rain

a) to be seriously ill

b) to be perfectly okay

Rainy dialogues

Match up the first line of these pieces of dialogue with the second .

1. Why have you got so much money in the bank? Why don't you spend more?

2. What happened next?

3. Did the bad weather spoil the tennis match?

4. You seem determined to go to your ex-boyfriend's wedding.

5. Would you like to go to the cinema sometime next week? It's my treat.

6. You don't look well at all.

a) Yes. It was rained off after 10 minutes. We all went home.

b) I will be there come rain or shine.

c) I'm working overtime all next week. I'll have to take a rain check.

d) I'm saving for a rainy day.

e) I feel tired all the time. But I'll be as right as rain after I've been on holiday.

f) Hail stones the size of golf balls rained down from the clouds. It was scary.

Other ways of raining

'I think it's going to rain heavily.' 'It was raining heavily when I left the office.' 'It was raining heavily last night.' It's boring to just use the verb 'to rain heavily' all the time. Here are some other ways of saying the same thing.

1. to pour down

2. to bucket down

3. to come down in torrents

4. to rain cats and dogs

5. to pelt down

6. to tip it down

7. to come down in stair-rods

Now re-write the following sentences, taking out 'rain heavily' and putting in one of the new phrasal verbs. Use each one in turn.

1. It was raining heavily when I set off for the office this morning.

2. I got wet last night. It was raining heavily all the way home.

3. It was raining heavily for about an hour last night.

4. It's been raining heavily for three days.

5. It's raining heavily. You'll need an umbrella.

6. It's raining heavily outside. Have you got a raincoat?

7. It's been raining heavily for an hour. I'm going to take a taxi.


A rain check: 1. b, 2. b, 3. a, 4. b, 5. b, 6. b, 7. b, 8. b, 9. a, 10. b

A rainy day: 1. b, 2. b, 3. b, 4. b, 5. b, 6. b

Rainy dialogues: 1. d, 2. f, 3. a, 4. b, 5. c, 6. e

Other ways of raining: 1. It was pouring down / 2. It was bucketing down / 3. It was coming down in torrents / 4. It's been raining cats and dogs / 5. It's pelting down / 6. It's tipping it down / 7. It's been coming down in stair-rods