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Color Names in Spanish

Instructor
Janet Long

Janet Long has taught post-secondary Spanish and English for over 15 years. They have a master's degrees in English from Southeast Missouri State University and a master's degree in Spanish literature from the University of Missouri Columbia.

Expert Contributor
Sasha Blakeley

Sasha Blakeley has a Bachelor's in English Literature from McGill University and a TEFL certification. She has been teaching English in Canada and Taiwan for seven years.

What's your favorite color? Do you like bright colors like orange or yellow? Maybe you like colors that remind you of nature, like blue or green? In this lesson, you'll learn how to say the names of basic colors in Spanish. Updated: 02/05/2021

A World of Colors

Colors are a part of our everyday lives. We see blue sky, green grass, and flowers that are a rainbow of colors. When we look in our closets, we glimpse all of our favorite colors on the different clothes that we own. Maybe you have blue shirts and black pants, or maybe you have black shirts and blue pants. This lesson will teach you the names of the colors in Spanish and help you practice how to say them.

You see dozens of different colors every day, such as the ones in this color wheel.
Color Wheel

Colors in Spanish

Warm Colors

The first two colors, rosa (roh-sah) (pink) and rojo (roh-hoh) (red), have similar spellings. To help you remember the difference, look a little closer. The spelling for rosa looks like the name of the flower, rose. So in Spanish, think of 'pink roses' to help you remember that rosa means pink.

Vocabulary and pronunciation for the names of basic colors in Spanish
Color Names in Spanish

It can be difficult to remember the meaning of amarillo (ah-mah-ree-yoh), but to remember that amarillo means yellow, just recall that both words have a double 'll' in them.

There are two different ways to say the color orange in Spanish. Naranja (nah-rahn-ha), which is a shorter way to say anaranjado (ah-nah-rahn-jah-doh). To help you remember these words, it will help you to know that naranja is also the word for the fruit in Spanish, just like in English.

In Spanish, naranja is both the name of a color and a fruit.
An orange

Cool Colors

Verde (vayr-day), Azul (ah-zool), and Morado (moh-rah-doh) are a little trickier to remember. It might help you to count the letters in each word. Verde and green both have 5 letters, azul and blue both have 4, and morado and purple each have 6 letters.

Neutral Colors

The color brown also has two words in Spanish, marrón (mah-rrohn) and café (cah-fay). Café is also the word for coffee in Spanish. Coffee beans are brown, so try to think of them to help you remember the meaning of café. You can also remember that both of these words have accent marks, so they have the same meaning.

The next two colors are blanco (blahn-ko) and negro (nay-groh). To help you remember the word blanco, think about how it sounds like the word blank and that a blank sheet of paper is white. To remember that negro means black, think of a dark night, when there is no light and everything looks black. Thinking of night can help you to remember that negro means black.

The last color we'll learn is the color gris (grees), which means gray. It's easy to remember this word since both gris and gray start with the same two letters--'g' and 'r.'

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Additional Activities

Color Names: Deeper Dives

This lesson introduced you to all of the major color words in Spanish. The following activities will help you solidify your understanding of these important concepts.

Create a Color Wheel

One great way to make sure that you can remember all of these words is to create a color wheel that you can write on. This will give you a visual guide to Spanish color words that you can refer back to any time. As you learn more words, you can fill in more detailed color descriptions to the chart.

Write It

Write a short paragraph or dialogue incorporating as many color words as you can. Use vocabulary and phrases that you have learned in other Spanish lessons to help you. Don't worry if your writing is simple; this is just a way for you to practice getting comfortable forming Spanish sentences, as well as a way for you to remember what you have learned.

Everyday Practice

As you go about your day, make a note of all of the colors that you see. Think about this especially in relation to things like fruit. Write down simple Spanish sentences, or even just lists of words, that describe the colors of the things around you. This is a great way to keep Spanish at the forefront of your mind and to absorb and retain new vocabulary words.

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