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Some Summer Words in English

Now that summer is finally here, it's a good time to improve your summer vocabulary. Let's take a look in this lesson at some of the important words you may need when heading outdoors into the sunny weather.


It's too sunny outside. Make sure you have your suntan lotion!

Caption 15, English with Lauren - The Weather

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Suntan lotion was originally intended to help people get suntans without getting a sunburn. A "suntan" occurs when skin darkens after being exposed to bright sunshine, while a "sunburn" is when it actually turns red from too much exposure. These days we know that too much sunshine can be dangerous to your health, so it's good to use a lotion that protects your skin. For this, you want sunscreen:


Protect your face. Sunscreen is really the biggest thing.

Caption 12, Katie Holmes - About Family, Beauty and Olay

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Sunscreens are rated by SPF, which stands for "Sun Protection Factor." A sunscreen with a SPF of 15 blocks 93% of the sun's rays, SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98%. Many people think that SPF 30 blocks twice as much sun as SPF 15, but this is not true. So while it is important to get a good sunscreen, the higher SPF sunscreens are often much more expensive and actually provide only a small percentage more protection. The important thing is to apply it often, especially after swimming!


Going camping is another popular summer activity:


I mean, camping out with my family.

Caption 12, Jimmy Kimmel’s Quarantine Minilogue - Home with Kids, Trump, Tom Brady & St. Patrick’s Day

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Unfortunately, most commercial camping spots may be closed this summer because of the coronavirus. But if you are an experienced camper, you may still be able to go camping in non-commericial places in nature where camping is allowed.


Going to the beach is also a popular summer activity:


With 46 kilometers of beautiful beaches,

it's the perfect spot to hit the beach.

Captions 10-11, Discover America - California Holidays: Surfing and Beach Town Santa Cruz

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The phrase "to hit the beach" is just a casual way of saying "to go to the beach." With the current coronavirus travel restrictions, we may have to settle for going to a local beach at a lake this summer instead of flying to a distant beach on the ocean. Those of you who are lucky enough to live near the sea won't have this problem!


Building sandcastles is something that is fun to do once you've hit the beach:


Last Fourth of July, they skipped putting out beach chairs or building sandcastles.

Caption 36, Toxic Lake - The Untold Story of Lake Okeechobee

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But when it starts to get too hot, you may need some help cooling off: 


There is just something about homemade strawberry ice cream.

Caption 1, Nigella's Recipes - Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

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Further Learning
Think of some other things you like to do in the summertime and search for the words on Yabla English so you can get a better sense of the different contexts in which the words are used.

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