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Could you tell me if have to use the before cold weather. For example:

I'm sure you will get used to (the) cold weather in this country.

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    Per this NGram, used to the cold weather / used to cold weather (with / without the article) are about equally common, and for most purposes it makes absolutely no difference which you use. – FumbleFingers Jan 17 at 17:40
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In your example sentence you are referring to the cold weather experienced in a particular country. The definite article would not be necessary if you were speaking of cold weather in general.

I don't mind the snow. I'm used to cold weather.

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    Strictly speaking, using the definite article here just causes it to refer to a specific instance of cold weather. This could mean the cold weather encountered in a specific country, or it could mean a particular region (for example: ‘If you want to move north, you will need to get used to the cold weather there.’), or even a specific seasonal instance. – Austin Hemmelgarn Jan 18 at 13:00
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    @KateBunting: "The definite article would not be necessary if you were speaking of cold weather in general." - does it mean that I can say "I don't mind snow." if I were speaking in general? – Nikolas Charalambidis Jan 19 at 17:00
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    @NikolasCharalambidis Yes, exactly. In fact, saying "the snow" sounds strange when used out-of-context. Usually it is referring to something specific. – Will Vousden Jan 19 at 17:19
  • When I hear, "Get used to the cold weather," the phrase implies that there is a current, ongoing cold weather event that's being referred to, and more of the same is expected in the future. – notovny Jan 19 at 17:40
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"get used to cold weather" means to get used to cold weather in general. Without "the", the sentence means that after living in that country you won't be as bothered by cold weather.

"get used to the cold weather" is more specific about the type of cold weather that exists in this country. The country might have particular patterns of blizzards, cold winds, etc. Getting used to this might not acclimatize you to the cold weather in other countries.

In general, adding "the" to a noun phrase usually changes it from a generalization to a specific reference.

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    There was a small boy of Quebec,/Who was buried in snow to his neck;/When they said. “Are you friz?”/He replied, “Yes, I is—/But we don’t call this cold in Quebec." — Rudyard Kipling. In other words, there's cold, and then there's Quebec-cold... – Darrel Hoffman Jan 18 at 15:23
  • If you are moving from Miami to Montreal in November, someone might say "you'll need to get used to cold weather". When your Miami neighbor calls you at Christmas and asks how you are doing, you can can say "I'm surviving, I got used to the cold weather". In the first case, it was the concept of code, in the second, it was the specific experience of the cold. And, for what it's worth, the cold in Montreal is just barely starting by the end of December. – Flydog57 Jan 18 at 17:42
  • @Flydog57 Yeah, I'm not sure if Kipling ever actually visited Quebec, or just picked it for the rhyme. (EDIT: Looking it up, he actually taught there for a short time) Fact remains there are varying degrees of cold. Growing up in New England as I did, I got used to cold, but I still don't think that would prepare me for e.g. a winter in Antarctica... – Darrel Hoffman Jan 18 at 19:29
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I'm sure you will get used to (the) cold weather in this country.

They are both correct but they have very different meanings.


1. Maria has just moved from southern Spain to Greenland to be with her boyfriend Malik

Maria: Whew! I'm freezing!

Malik: Don't worry. I'm sure you will get used to the cold weather in this country.

Maria will become accustomed to the specific weather in the country she has immigrated to.


2. John is planning to go on an expedition to the North Pole.

John: I have come to Greenland in preparation for my expedition. Do you think Greenland is cold enough to prepare me?

Malik: Don't worry. I'm sure you will get used to cold weather in this country. Once you are used to it here, there will be no problem in the Arctic.

John wishes become accustomed to cold weather in general. He has picked Greenland as his training ground. He could have picked a different country in order to become used to cold weather.

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"Get used to the cold weather" is specific, it requires context like a when and where. I.e. "I'm sure you will get used to the cold weather in this country" is the correct phrasing because you are talking about a specific place.

"Get used to cold weather" is abstract, it makes sense without any context, it can be used anywhere and anytime. I.e "I'm sure you will get used to cold weather" is correct when you are talking about weather in general.

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People usually say "..get used to the cold", but usually say "get used to cold weather". Update: If they talk about particular country, they usually say "get used to the cold weather in a particular country".

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