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How To Name And Pronounce Colors In Russian

Roses are красные, violets are синие, our guide to colors in Russian makes learning easier! Find out about all the colors in the радуга (rainbow).
How To Name And Pronounce Colors In Russian
Russia is sometimes portrayed as a snow-covered land that exists only in shades of gray, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The country has some of the most colorful architecture in the world, like the iconic exterior of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. It would be a shame to travel to Russia, take in the beauty around you, but then fall short of being able to describe what you see. That’s why learning the colors in Russian is an important early step in learning the language. Fortunately, we made a guide!

color — цвет

red — красный (masc.), красная (fem.), красное (neut.)

orange — оранжевый (masc.), оранжевая (fem.), оранжевое (neut.)

yellow — жёлтый (masc.), жёлтая (fem.), жёлтое (neut.)

green — зелёный (masc.), зелёная (fem.), зелёное (neut.)

dark blue — синий (masc.), синяя (fem.), синяя (neut.)

light blue — голубой (masc.), голубая (fem.), голубое (neut.)

purple — фиолетовый (masc.), фиолетовая (fem.), фиолетовое (neut.)

pink — розовый (masc.), розовая (fem.), розовое (neut.)

brown — коричневый (masc.), коричневая (fem.), коричневое (neut.)

black — чёрный (masc.), чёрная (fem.), чёрное (neut.)

white — белый (masc.), белая (fem.), белое (neut.)

light — светлый (masc.), светлая (fem.), светлое (neut.)

dark — тёмный (masc.), тёмная (fem.), тёмное (neut.)

Usage Notes: Russian has grammatical gender and other case markings for adjectives, so depending on the noun it’s describing, the color name will change. The words above are all in their nominative iteration, and the color names also change depending on whether what’s being surprised is in the plural, and also on where the color appears in the sentence. This makes it a tad more difficult than other languages, because you have to know Russian grammar to fully know the colors, but here’s still a good place to start. Another note is that Russian adjectives, like English ones, come before the noun in the sentence, so “blue car” translates to синий автомобиль.

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Thomas Moore Devlin
Thomas grew up in suburban Massachusetts, and moved to New York City for college. He studied English literature and linguistics at New York University, but spent most of his time in college working for the student paper. Because of this, he has really hard opinions about AP Style. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and getting angry about things on Twitter. He's spent a lot of time trying to learn Spanish, and has learned a little German.
Thomas grew up in suburban Massachusetts, and moved to New York City for college. He studied English literature and linguistics at New York University, but spent most of his time in college working for the student paper. Because of this, he has really hard opinions about AP Style. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and getting angry about things on Twitter. He's spent a lot of time trying to learn Spanish, and has learned a little German.
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