Spanish colours

Colours/colors

 

  •  what color is it? = ¿de qué color es?

  •  it’s yellow = es amarillo/amarilla

 

Note the use of the preposition de in the following sentences:

 

  •  she always wears green = siempre se viste de verde

  •  to paint something yellow = pintar algo de amarillo

  •  dressed in black = vestido de negro

  •  the woman in white = la mujer de blanco

 

Nouns of color

These are all masculine:

 

  •  a deep red = un rojo intenso

  •  you look good in green = el verde te queda bien

  •  violet = el violeta (i.e. the color; the flower is feminine – la violeta)

 

They are used as in English:

 

  •  we have it in red and yellow = lo tenemos en rojo y amarillo

  •  I love green = me encanta el verde

  •  blue is in fashion = está de moda el azul

 

Adjectives of color

Some of the most common of these agree in gender and number with the noun they modify:

 

  •  a yellow blouse = una blusa amarilla

  •  blue/black shoes = zapatos azules/negros

 

Many, however, are invariable in form:

 

  •  turquoise curtains = unas cortinas turquesa

 

Some adjectives may be either variable or invariable in number, principally naranja, rosa, malva, and violeta:

 

  •  pink shirts = camisas rosa or rosas

 

Note the use of the Spanish word color in combination with adjectives of color, whether as an integral part of a compound:

 

  •  cream trousers = pantalones color crema

 

or as an optional addition:

 

  •  strawberry-pink = (color) fresa

  •  salmon = (color) salmón

  •  lilac socks = calcetines (color) lila

  •  lemon yellow paint = pintura (color) amarillo limón

 

de color is also used to indicate approximation:

 

  •  flesh-colored tights = medias (de) color carne

 

‘Combined’ colors

Most of these in Spanish are compound nouns as in English:

 

  •  dusty pink = rosa viejo

  •  cherry red = rojo cereza

  •  emerald green = verde esmeralda

 

Several ‘combined’ colors are expressed in Spanish by a single word:

 

  •  bluish white = blanquiazul

  •  greenish-white = verdiblanco

  •  red-green = verdirrojo

  •  red-and white = blanquirrojo

  •  black-and-white = blanquinegro (but note that black-and-white TV/ photos is translated by televisión/ fotos en blanco y negro)

 

Shades of color

Spanish has various endings which can be used to translate the suffix -ish:

 

  •  greenish = verdoso

  •  yellowish = amarillento

  •  reddish = rojizo

  •  blackish = negruzco

  •  bluish = azulado

  •  whitish = blancuzco

 

It also uses the phrase tirando a to denote tinges of color:

 

  •  a bright orangish yellow = un amarillo fuerte tirando a naranja

  •  a blackish grey = un gris oscuro tirando a negro

 

Shades of color expressed with adjectives such as light and dark are always invariable in Spanish:

 

  •  a light blue skirt = una falda azul claro

  •  dark brown shoes = zapatos marrón oscuro

 

Hair color

 

  •  fair/blond hair = pelo rubio

  •  brown hair = pelo marrón

  •  light/dark brown hair = pelo marrón claro/oscuro

  •  mousy(-colored) hair = pelo color castaño desvaído

  •  black hair = pelo negro

  •  white hair = pelo blanco

  •  auburn hair = pelo castaño rojizo or pelo color caoba

 

But:

 

  •  she has red hair = es pelirroja

  •  he has gray hair = es canoso or tiene el pelo canoso

 

Eye color

 

  •  blue eyes = ojos azules

  •  brown eyes = ojos marrones or (AmC, Chi, Méx) café

  •  light blue eyes = ojos azul claro

  •  green eyes = ojos verdes

  •  gray eyes = ojos color grises or gris

  •  hazel eyes = ojos color avellana

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