Colors in Spanish

Colors are one of the easiest and most fun vocabulary topics to learn. Like in English, color words can be used both as nouns (i.e. the color red/rojo) and as adjectives (i.e. a red bicycle/unabicicletaroja).

Here are some of the most common color words in Spanish:
English Spanish
RedRojo (ROH-hoh)
OrangeAnaranjado (ah-nah-ran-HA-do)
YellowAmarillo (AH-mah-REE-yoh)
GreenVerde (BAYR-day)
Blue Azul (ah-SOOL)
Navy Blue Azul Marino (ah-SOOL ma-REEN-o)
Purple Púrpura (POOR-poor-ah)
Morado (moor-AH-do)
Violeta (vio-LET-ah)
PinkRosa (RO-sah)
BlackNegro (NAY-groh)
WhiteBlanco (BLAHN-koh)
Grey Gris (GREES)
Brown Marrón (mah-RON)
Castaño (Kah-STAN-yo)
Pardo (PAR-do)
Dark Brown Café (kah-FEY)
SilverPlateado (pla-te-AH-do)
GoldDorado (do-RAH-do)
LightClaro (KLA-ro)
Dark Oscuro (os-KUR-o)

Some Spanish color words don't match up perfectly to their English equivalents - in particular, purple and brown are problematic. Púrpurais easier for English-speakers to remember, but Moradois used more often. Violeta, which actually means "violet," is also common. Castaño is often translated as "brown," but it actually means "chestnut." Different terms are used in various regions, so it is useful to understand them all. It just goes to show - translation is not always black and white (or brown and purple!)

When you use colors as adjectives in Spanish, they behave the same way as other adjectives: they agree with the nouns they describe in both gender and number, and they usually come after the nouns they describe. This is different from English, so be careful!

Examples:
Un librorojo [a red book]
doslibrosrojos [two red books]
una casa roja [a red house]
doscasasrojas [two red houses])
Notes:
Azul, verde, andgris only change to agree in terms of number; they have the same form for feminine and masculine nouns.
Examples:
Unaflorazul [a blue flower]
Dos bicicletasverdes[two green bicycles]
Dos librosgrises [two green books]

Violeta is invariable, meaning it doesn't change in number or gender to match the nouns it describes.
Examples:
Un lápizvioleta [a violet pencil]
Dos cochesvioleta [two violet cars]


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