Your Ultimate Guide To Colors In Spanish
- Jada LòpezSpanish teacher, translator🎓 B.A., Translation and Interpreting English and Spanish, Universidad de Granada🎓 M.A., Formación de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera (ELE), Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Passionate language teacher and translator. Wife, mother of 3 and amateur surfer.
You should learn colors in Spanish early on.
Not only are they easy to learn and remember (using mneumonics), but you will need them.
Whether you want to describe a vivid landscape, a visually stunning photograph or an object that has caught your attention, you can admire and talk about these things with Spanish color vocabulary.
Read on to discover all the main colors in Spanish and how you should use them.
How do you say ‘color’ in Spanish?
“Color” in Spanish is color. Easy enough to remember! 🙂
You use the masculine, singular article el with the masculine, singular noun color, giving us el color (“the color”).
The noun you should use to say “colors” (plural) in Spanish is los colores. This requires you to use the masculine, plural article los.
You can also use the adjective coloreado (which uses the participle form) to describe something “colored” or “colorful”.
The verb is colorar, which means to “to color” something.
What are the main colors in Spanish?
Check the table below to learn the main colors in Spanish:
|English color||Spanish color|
How do you say primary colors in Spanish?
To say “primary colors” (plural) in Spanish, we use the phrase colores primarios. These base colors can form other colors when we mix or combine them.
The three colores primarios are:
- Rojo - red
- Azul - blue
- Amarillo - yellow
How do you say secondary colors in Spanish?
“Secondary colors” (plural) translates to colores secundarios. When we combine two primary colors, this produces a secondary color.
The three colores secundarios are:
- Morado - purple (a combination of rojo and azul)
- Naranja - orange (a combination of amarillo and rojo)
- Verde - green (a combination of azul and amarillo)
It’s important to consider the Spanish grammatical rules if you want to use colors in Spanish to describe objects, places, or landscapes. A few rules you should understand include:
- Word order
- Plural forms
Let’s look at these rules in more detail.
When you use simple sentences that feature a color, the color should follow the noun.
For instance, if you need to say “the white desk” (plural), you should say el escritorio blanco.
Here are several examples of you can use the correct word order in sentences with Spanish colors:
- La flor rosa - the pink flower
- El edificio gris - the grey building
- El teléfono móvil negro - the black mobile phone
- La casa azul - the blue house
- El armario marrón - the brown closet
- La pared naranja - the orange wall
Using the correct gender
In Spanish, every noun has a gender that should match the gender of the Spanish color you use to describe it. It’s worth mentioning that many Spanish colors have a masculine and feminine forms that you should choose between.
For example, the color morado has a feminine form that ends in an -a (which is morada). The color amarillo has a feminine form that ends in an -a (amarilla).
Masculine colors in Spanish end in an -o and feminine Spanish colors end in an -a. So, if you are describing a masculine Spanish noun, you must use the masculine version of the Spanish color; if you are describing a feminine Spanish noun, you must use the feminine version of the color.
Not all Spanish colors have a feminine version. For instance, you need not to modify the color azul for masculine or feminine nouns. The same is true for the color naranja - it does not have a masculine version. Keep reading for more on colors that fit this exception, and consider the examples below for more information:
|Masculine nouns and Spanish colors||Feminine nouns and Spanish colors|
|El coche rojo||La flor roja|
|El barco amarillo||La lámpara amarilla|
|El ordenador negro||La mariposa negra|
Which colors in Spanish do not have masculine forms?
Memorising the colors that do not have alternative forms is a great method to hone your Spanish fluency. It helps you avoid making mistakes, such as describing an orange car with a color that doesn’t exist (such as “naranjo” (plural)).
Three examples of colors in Spanish that don’t have a masculine form include:
For these colors, there are no counterparts that end in an -o. Therefore, you should never use the colors “roso” (plural), “naranjo” (plural), or “violeto” (plural) in Spanish, as these do not exist.
Which colors in Spanish do not have feminine forms?
A few colors in Spanish do not have feminine forms, such as the examples below:
Since these colors do not have feminine forms, you don’t need to modify them when you use feminine nouns. Instead of saying la manzana verda (which is incorrect), use the form verde (la manzana verde).
How to pluralise Spanish colors
When you describe several objects with the same color, remember to modify Spanish colors accordingly. To sound like a native, use the plural versions of the color and the noun when you describe it.
Pluralising colors in Spanish requires adding an -es to colors that end in a consonant and -s to colors that end in a vowel. Look at the table below to discover many plural versions of the main Spanish colors to describe several objects:
|Spanish color||Spanish color (Plural)|
Describing people’s eye color in Spanish
We can use a few Spanish colors listed above and a few new ones to describe a person’s eyes. Some of the main eye colors you will hear in Spanish include:
- Ojos cafés - Brown eyes
- Ojos de color avellana - Hazel-colored eyes
- Ojos azules - Blue eyes
- Ojos verdes - Green eyes
- Ojos de color ámbar - Amber colored eyes
- Ojos grises - Grey eyes
Describing hair color in Spanish
If you need to describe someone’s hair, there are a few colors you should be aware of. Some examples of the main hair colors in Spanish are:
- Pelo negro - Black hair
- Pelo castaño - Brunette
- Pelo gris - Grey hair
- Pelo blanco - White hair
- Pelo pelirrojo - Ginger hair
- Pelo rubio - Blonde hair
To consolidate some of the facts you know about Spanish colors, here are a few examples that show how you can use Spanish colors to describe people, objects and things. Can you notice the masculine and feminine, singular and plural, and word order in these sentences?
Mari-Carmen tiene ojos azules y pelo rubio.
Los coches de Antonio son naranjas.
A Julia le gustan las manzanas rojas.
Juan tiene un ordenador negro y un teléfono móvil blanco.
A ellos les gustan las casas rosas.
A María no le gustan las flores azules.
Samuel tiene un gato negro y un perro blanco.
Now you know your Spanish colors
The best way to practice using Spanish colors is to use them often to describe things.
Keep in mind the three grammatical rules you’ve learned in this guide - remember the word order, gender, and plural expectations when using Spanish colors in sentences or when writing.
Also check my guide on Spanish adjectives to learn other words to enrich your descriptions when speaking to others.
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