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.
Colors in Spanish
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.
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.
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.
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.'
Some of the names for colors in Spanish are pretty long, like amarillo and anaranjado. To say them correctly, put a tiny pause after each vowel. You also want to place the strongest stress on the vowel that is the second from the last. In amarillo, ri is the second from the last vowel sound. This means that you would say ah-mah-ree-yoh with the stress on ri.
Where should we put the stress in the word morado? The stress should go on the vowel that is the second from last, which is ra, so you would say (mo-ra-do).
There is also a special symbol in Spanish that can help you learn where to put the stress in a word, the accent mark. The words marrón and café both have accent marks. When you see an accent mark over a vowel in a Spanish word, you should stress that vowel by saying it a little stronger that the other vowels in the word. This means that you would say (cah-fay), giving the last two letters more emphasis.
In this lesson we learned the vocabulary and the pronunciation for the basic colors in Spanish and some tips to help us remember their meanings. We can remember rosa (roh-sah) by thinking of pink roses, and we learned that rojo (roh-hoh) means red. Both Amarillo (ah-mah-ree-yoh) and yellow have a double 'll'. There are two different words for orange - anaranjado (ah-nah-rahn-jah-doh) and naranja (nah-rahn-ha). Brown also has two different words - marrón (mah-rrohn) and café (cah-fay). The final three colors we learned were blanco (blahn-ko), or white, negro (nay-groh), or black, and gris (grees), or gray.
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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 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.
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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