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Spanish Colours

Los colores

Spanish Colours

When we describe an object using its colour in English, we do it in this order: first the colour, then the object. The red book.

The Spanish take a different approach. When they describe an object they go for the object first and then the colour. The book red. El libro rojo. Applying the English structure and saying El rojo libro has been out of use for centuries now.

Also, the ending of the colour word changes according to the object, so we could have el libro rojo but we can also have la pluma amarilla [the yellow feather].

But, not all colours in Spanish change, some maintain the same word whether masculine or feminine, for example el lapiz gris [the gray pencil] or la puerta azul [the blue door].

This is a little bit confusing, and since this is only a Spanish vocabulary page, we are going to leave the grammar to native Spanish. There, the native teachers can give you more examples and explain further.

But for the colours themselves, here's an useful list:

English WordSpanish WordPronunciation
blacknegronegrow
whiteblancoblankoh
redrojoro-hoh
vermilion / scarletbermellón*bur-meh-yonn
burgundyburdeos*bur-dayoss
yellowamarilloam-ah-ree-yoh
greenverde*ver-day
pistachiopistacho*piss-tachowe
blueazul*athool
navy blueazul marino*athool ma-reeno
sky blueazul celesteathool the-llest-ay
brownmarrón*mah-ronn
greygris*grees
orangeanaranjadoa-nar-an-hadowe
orangenaranja*nar-an-hah
pinkrosaroe-sah
hot pinkfucsia*foox-siah
purplemoradomore-addo
cyancian*thee-an
magentamagenta*mah-ghentah
skin colouredcolor carne*coh-lorr carnay
goldendoradodorr-ardo
silverplateadoplat-ay-ardo
darkoscurooss-kurrow
brightchillóncheeh-yohn

* These words do not change their ending according to the gender of the word they are describing, it is only those words listed above that end with the letter o which change.

By the way, the most popular hair colour in Spain? Dark. If you go study Spanish abroad, you will see. There are, however, a number of different colour shades which refer to hair colour. Not unlike English, the ones listed above do not apply. Just as we use the term blonde rather than yellow when referring to hair colour, the same rule works in Spanish. See the beauty page for Spanish vocabulary to describe hair colours.