Basic Spanish Colors: List, Sentences and Practice

LOS COLORES are some of the most important and useful adjectives you can learn in any language. In this lesson, we will learn the vocabulary for basic Spanish colors and how to make sentences with colors to describe objects. More than a vocabulary list, you will learn how to use colors to convey simple ideas. Plus, you can practice with an interactive quiz. Comencemos…

Vocabulary: A list of basic Spanish colors – Los colores básicos

LOS COLORES  is the phrase we used for Spanish colors as a group. There are so many of them that it would be hard to have them all. However, there are some basic Spanish colors that will normally be used in everyday conversations and written communication. The picture below shows how to write a short list of basic colors in both languages. Notice that some of these words are written in more than one way like ROSA and ROSADO.

A list of basic Spanish colors
Los colores en español

Making sentences with Spanish colors and the verb SER

Spanish colors are actually a special type of adjectives, that is words used to describe objects. This means that we need to follow some grammar rules to use colors correctly in sentences.

The plural and feminine form of Spanish colors

First of all, Spanish colors must agree in gender with the noun they modify. For instance, to say “A red house” in Spanish, we would need the feminine noun CASA for house and the word “Rojo” for its color so we can make the phrase “Una casa roja”. Notice that colors will be placed after the object, not before, so “The white house” would be “La casa blanca” not “La blanca casa”.

Secondly, when describing a plural noun with Spanish colors, the color should be written in plural form as well, e.g. “rojo/rojos”, “verde/verdes” and so on. Following the same example, “Red houses” would be translated as “Casas rojas”, making both the noun Casa and the color Roja plural. Read and listen to some sentences with Spanish colors applying these two grammar rules. Pay attention to the main object in the sentence and how it must agree with the color.

NEGRO – Yo tengo un sombrero negro
I have a black hat
VERDE – Su libro tiene una portada verde
Her book has a green cover
CAFÉ y NEGRO – Ella tiene ojos café y pelo negro
She has brown eyes and black hair
NARANJA/ANARANJADO – Esa es una guitarra naranja hermosa.
That is a beautiful orange guitar
GRIS – La computadora nueva tiene un teclado gris
The new computer has a gray keyboard
CELESTE – Me encanta tu vestido celeste.
I love your sky blue dress

Using SER with colors in sentences

In order to make sentences with Spanish colors, we can use the verbs TENER and SER (to be). SER (to be) will be used in its forms ES for a single object and SON for several as in these examples: “La casa es roja” (the house is red) and “Los libros son verdes” (the books are green). In these two sentences, the words ROJA and VERDES are colors describing the objects CASA and LIBROS. In addition, we can use TENER with colors in sentences like “Tengo un carro azul“, saying what we have and what color the object is.

Just like in English, Spanish colors can also be used as the subject of a sentence, but we need to place a definite article before the color, e.g. “El amarillo”, “La blanca”, “Las grises” and “Los azules”. That being said, the sentence “Blue is a beautiful color” would be translated as “El azul es un color hermoso”. Moreover, we can use the phrase “El color” plus a color as the subject, for example:  “El color amarillo es muy brillante” (The color yellow is very brilliant). There are many other verbs to make sentences with Spanish colors, but SER is probably the most common. Listen to some sentences below and try to figure out how you can describe objects with colors as well.

BLANCO – Su traje es blanco
His suit is white
AZUL – ¿Tú auto es azul?
Is your car blue?
VERDE CLARO – El pasto verde claro de la primavera.
The light green grass of the spring
CAFÉ – Ana tiene pelo café oscuro
Ana has dark brown hair
ROJO – ¿Cuál te gusta? – Me gusta la roja
Which one do you like? – I like the red one
MORADO y TURQUESA – ¿Prefieres la corbata morada o la turquesa?
Do you prefer the purple tie or the turquoise one?
ROSADO/ROSA – El rosado es mi color favorito.
Pink is my favorite color
AMARILLO – El Amarillo no es mi color favorito
Yellow is not my favorite color
PLATA/PLATEADO – El plateado es un color elegante
Silver is a very elegant color
DORADO – Usar el color dorado en las imágenes es una gran idea.
Using gold in the images is a great idea.

Vocabulary Quiz: Spanish colors practice

Here are some basic exercises to practice the vocabulary for basic Spanish colors and the basic sentence structures explained in the lesson. This quiz will help you test if you can actually recognize these colors. Click on START QUIZ when you are ready.


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2 Comments

    1. Hi! I tried to follow some ideas from a website to teach English called Randall’s ESL Lab plus the teaching style I liked when I was learning English (still learning…). Thanks for your comment!

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