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Color Words in Spanish – How to Use Color Words in Spanish Correctly

Color words in Spanish, as in any other language, are important in increasing your descriptive language. These small but powerful words are used every day for characterizing and defining your thoughts. Knowing the color words in Spanish and how to use them properly builds on your power to communicate correctly in the Spanish language. 

Spanish is used in many different parts of the world and not all dialects use the same words. These twelve basic colors words are some that are commonly used here in Mexico:

Spanish Colors-English Colors

 

amarillo–yellow

anaranjado–orange

azul-blue

beige–beige

blanco-white

gris-gray

marron-brown

morado-purple

negro-black

rojo-red

verde–green

 

To help you use these basic color words in Spanish properly, here are a few things to remember. I have tried to keep the rules simple and provided examples so you can visual the actual usage.

 

1. In English a color comes before the noun that it is describing.   Eg. I have a green shoe. 

In Spanish, in most cases, the name of the color comes after the noun it describes.   Eg. I have a green shoe.  Tengo un zapato verde.

 

b) If the color describes an inherent (built in) quality, then it comes in front.   Eg. the white snow–la blanca nieve

 

2. Spanish nouns are classified as either feminine or masculine.  Spanish color adjectives often change to agree in gender with the noun they describe. If the noun is masculine and the Spanish color word ends in an o, like rojo, the color word does not change. If the noun is feminine, then the color word that ended in o, now ends in aroja.

Eg.   There is one red book.    Hay un libro rojo.      word book (libro) is masculine, so red is rojo.

Eg.  There is a red ball.     Hay una pelota roja.      word for ball (pelota) is feminine, so rojo changes to roja.

 

In the other basic Spanish colors above, here are the changes.

 

Remember: masculine ends in o, then feminine ends in a

 

·amarillo–un libro amarillo                          amarilla–una pelota amarilla

·anaranjado–un libro anaranjado              anaranjada–una pelota anaranjada

·blanco–un libro blanco                               blanca–una pelota blanca

·morado–un libro morado                           morada–una pelota morada

·negro–un libro negro                                  negra–una pelota negra

 

3.  Usually color words in Spanish also change when the nouns become plural.  In the above examples, when a color ends in an o or a, and the noun becomes plural, add an s in both the masculine and feminine situations.  Eg. There are two red books.  Hay dos libros rojos.     Eg. There are two red balls.  Hay dos pelotas rojas.

 

·amarillos–dos libros amarillos                    amarillas–dos pelotas amarillas

·anaranjado–dos libros anaranjados          anaranjadas–dos pelotas anaranjadas

·blanco–dos libros blancos                           blanco–dos pelotas blancas

·morado–dos libros morados                       moradas–dos pelotas moradas

·negro–dos libros negros                              negra–dos pelotas negras

 

4. These colors in Spanish do not change with the gender. They are the same if the noun is masculine or feminine:   beige, rosa, verde, gris, marrón, azul.    Eg.  a beige book–un libro beige       a beige ball–una pelota beige

 

b) The colors, beige and rosa, do not change when the noun is plural:     Eg. two pink balls–dos pelotas rosa         two beige books–dos libros beige

 

c) For the color verde, add an s for plural: verdes       Eg.  two green balls–dos pelotas verdes               

two green books–dos libros verdes

 

d) For the Spanish colors, azul, marrón, and gris, add es with plural nouns: Azules, marrónes, grises    Eg. two blue books–dos libros azules , two brown balls–dos pelotas marrones ,  two gray balls–dos pelotas grises  

Clearly, it is important to know how to use these small but powerful words correctly. Spanish color words bring life to otherwise mundane sentences. They make your descriptions come alive and enrich your vocabulary. Color words in Spanish expand your writing and speaking parameters.

 

I hope this helps with implementing the basic color words to your Spanish repertoire. Try the best you can. You may make mistakes, but that is a great way to learn. Just use these few simple rules to help you get on the right track.

Source by Penny Howe

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