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I hear this structure quite often:

"I don't like it when it is rainy."

But, I find it too wordy and somewhat difficult for us non-native speakers. So, instead, I wonder if can simply say:

"I don't like it raining".

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  • 3
    I don't like it when it is rainy suggests to me that the speaker is complaining about the monsoon season (aka "the rainy season".) Jun 3, 2023 at 12:21
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    Other roughly synonymous phrases: I don't like rain, I don't like the rain, I don't like rainy weather, I don't like it when it rains.
    – Nayuki
    Jun 3, 2023 at 20:13
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    @Nayuki, How about " "I don’t like when it rains." which does not repeat "it" Would this sentence also be a synonymous phrase?
    – Yunus
    Jun 4, 2023 at 1:12
  • 'Rainy' is not quite the same thing as 'raining'. "It's raining" - liquid water drops are coming down out of the sky right now. "It's rainy" - if it isn't actually raining right now, the weather is such that it's likely to happen quite soon. Jun 5, 2023 at 16:19
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    Rainy isn't the same as raining. Rainy as an adjective, indicates such as the 'rainy season' - which isn't continuous rain. Raining is what is happening - 'it's raining', or 'it was raining an hour ago', for example. The two aren't synonymous.
    – Tim
    Jun 6, 2023 at 9:35

3 Answers 3

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In the simple sentence "It's raining", "it" is a dummy pronoun that represents nothing at all. It's just there to provide a subject for the sentence because all declarative English sentences require explicit subjects. It's an idiomatic use of "it" that we use to talk about weather conditions. The structure is [ "it's" + weather condition ].

The sentence, "I don't like it raining", however, does not use that idiomatic structure, so English speakers might read this "it" as a real pronoun that refers to something with the ability to rain, like a cloud or the sky or something. This isn't the natural way to talk about weather, so your second sentence is not good.

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The sense of the sentence is "I'm not happy when the weather is wet".

To me as a native speaker, I don't like it raining sounds as though you disapprove of rain (when a parent tells their child "I don't like you doing that", it's a strong hint that they ought to stop doing it) - but we all know that rain is necessary to life.

If you want a shorter sentence, I suggest I don't like rain or I don't like wet weather.

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    Also, “I don’t like the rain.”
    – Davislor
    Jun 4, 2023 at 0:03
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Good question! An alternative to repeating it is,

I don’t like when it rains.

When can serve as a relative pronoun, introducing a clause like “when it rains.” Yunus brings up in a comment that this could also, in context, mean that I wish it would rain at different times. That’s true. (I don’t think I would usually express that thought in those words. I might say, “I don’t like rain in the afternoon,” “I don’t like rain when I’m jogging,” “I don’t want rain tomorrow,” or “I don’t like that it’s raining now.”) But you could rephrase it many other ways, including:

I’m not happy when it rains.

or

When/Whenever it rains, I don’t like it.

In that position, “when it rains” is an adverbial clause, and cannot be read as a predicate. Also good:

I don't like [the] rain.

In this context, “the rain” means, rain in general.

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  • Are you sure about your suggestion "I don’t like when it rains." not to repeat "it". It sounds as if the speaker doesn't like the time of the day it rains. They would prefer it should rain another time.
    – Yunus
    Jun 4, 2023 at 1:10
  • @yunus It can have either meaning in context. You could also say something like, “I’m not happy when it rains.”
    – Davislor
    Jun 4, 2023 at 3:20
  • @Davislor Or indeed, I'm only happy when it rains :-) Jun 4, 2023 at 12:17

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