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.