How To Name And Pronounce Colors In French

Roses are rouge, violets are bleu; rose and violet are both totally different colors in French, and you’ll learn those, too.
September 10, 2018
How To Name And Pronounce Colors In French
There are a good many reasons to learn the names of colors in French.
 
If you’re a student of the language, it’s basic ground you’ll need to cover pretty early on in your studies.

If you’re traveling to a French-speaking country, you’ll need to have these handy to divert a major fashion emergency as you shop for clothes (quelle horreur !).

And for everyone else, learning the correct pronunciation of blanc and noir will make you 4 percent classier (and more insufferable) when you discuss cinematic genres and fine wines.

Here’s a quick and handy guide to help you correctly name and pronounce common colors in French.

Red — rouge

 
Orange — orange

 
Yellow — jaune

 
Green — vert

 
Blue — bleu

 
Purple — violet

 
Pink — rose

 
Brown — marron

 
Black — noir

 
White — blanc

 
Gray — gris

 
Light — clair

 
Dark — foncé

 
Multicolored — multicolore

 
The color — la couleur

A few things to know before you use these in a sentence:

If you’re describing a plural noun, the color adjectives will generally end with an “s,” including bleu, which is an exception to the rule that “eu” endings become “eux” in their plural form.

Grammatical gender is also important to keep in mind. Colors like rouge, jaune and orange only need an -s tacked on at the end when they’re describing plural nouns, but some color adjectives might need a feminine -es for feminine nouns: verts/vertes, violets/violettes, noirs/noires, blancs/blanches, foncés/foncées, clairs/claires.

Other than that, there are two main exceptions here. Marron and couleur don’t have any feminine mark termination, so their plural forms will always be marrons and couleurs, whatever the gender. And in its masculine form, gris is invariable; however, it requires an extra “e” in its feminine form. So the plural form of gris/grise will be gris/grises.

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Steph Koyfman
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.

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