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Colors in Spanish

by Melody Li
Mexican dancers dancing under colorful umbrellas

Knowing the colors in Spanish is an important step in mastering conversational Spanish. Colors are necessary for communication and expression—whether you’re complimenting someone’s eyes, asking your hairstylist about hair dye, or describing the dog you saw on your morning walk. 

Ready to add some color to your Spanish knowledge? Let’s get started.

List of colors in Spanish

Spanish is a colorful language, but naming every single color visible to the eye would be impractical. Instead, we’ve narrowed down the list to 15 common colors in Spanish that are essential to know.

sky blueceleste

Spanish words to describe and classify colors 

While our list of colors isn’t exhaustive, you can easily add more Spanish color vocabulary to your repertoire by picking up a few adjectives. Knowing how to talk about different colors with a variety of tones and shades will easily make your Spanish conversations more colorful! 

Here is a list of handy Spanish adjectives and phrases you can use to describe colors in more detail. 

dull apagado
colorful colorido
monotone monótono
primary color color primario 
secondary color color secundario 
warm colorcolor cálido
cold color color frío

When using these adjectives to modify a color, they follow the name of the color. 

For example: 

  • I bought a pastel blue dress. = Compré un vestido azul pastel.
  • The bicycle is neon green. = La bicicleta es verde fluorescente.
  • The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. = Los colores primarios son el rojo, azul, y amarillo. 

How to use Spanish colors in sentences

Before you start using the color words in your conversations, here are a few important Spanish grammar rules to know. 

1. Sentence structure 

Colors are adjectives when they’re used to describe nouns. Like most adjectives in Spanish, the color words go after the noun that they modify. The correct structure for using color words in sentences is: “el/la + (noun) + (color).” 


  • The red apple = la manzana roja
  • The brown dog = el perro marrón

2. Gender and number agreement for colors 

In Spanish, adjectives must agree with the gender and number of the noun they describe. Colors are no exception! 

Any color that ends in “o” in Spanish changes its ending to match the gender of the noun. 

For example, blanco changes to blanca when describing a feminine noun. 

  • The white cat = el gato blanco 
  • The white house = la casa blanca 

On the other hand, colors that don’t end in “o” won’t change their spelling. For example, gris is used for both masculine and feminine nouns. 

  • The gray cat = el gato gris 
  • The gray house = la casa gris 

By default, Spanish color words are singular. To make a color match plural nouns, add “s” if the word ends in a vowel and add “es” if the word ends in a consonant. 

Blanco ends in a vowel, so add “s” at the end to match plural nouns. 

  • The white cats = los gatos blancos 
  • The white houses = las casas blancas 

To make gris plural, add “es” to the ending. 

  • The gray cats = los gatos grises 
  • The gray houses = las casas grises

3. Colors with adjectives are always masculine and singular

One exception to the previous rule is when you use color modifiers in Spanish. When the color is modified by another adjective, there is no need to change the ending to match the gender. No matter what the number and gender of the noun is, the color words will always be masculine and singular. 


  • The light orange cat = el gato anaranjado claro 
  • The light orange cats = los gatos anaranjado claro 
  • The light orange house = la casa anaranjado claro 
  • The light orange houses = las casas anaranjado claro 

4. Describe nouns using de color 

Another way to describe the color of a noun is by using the following structure: “ser/estar + de color + (color).”  With this sentence structure, you don’t have to worry about matching the color to the number and gender of the noun. You’ll always use the masculine singular form to match “el color”. 


  • The car is silver. = El coche es de color plateado
  • The shirts are black. = Las camisetas son de color negro

5. Colors as nouns are always masculine 

When using color words as nouns, they’re always masculine and should be preceded by the masculine articles el or los

For example: 

  • My favorite color is light pink. = Mi color favorito es el rosado claro.  
  • I prefer the color green to the color yellow. = Prefiero el color verde que el color amarillo.
  • I don’t like warm colors. = No me gustan los colores cálidos.

Colors in Spanish for describing people

In English, you can use the word “brown” to describe both someone’s hair and eye colors. In Spanish, however, there are specific words for describing the colors of people’s physical characteristics. Use the following vocabulary to talk about people’s hair, skin, and eye colors in Spanish. 

Hair colors in Spanish = Colores de cabello

brunette castaño
graygris canoso

Eye colors in Spanish = Colores de ojos 

hazel avellanas

Skin colors in Spanish = Colores de piel 


To express that someone’s body part is a certain color, use the structure: “tener + (article) + body part + (color).” Make sure that the color matches the number and gender of the noun! 


  • I have blonde hair. = Tengo el cabello rubio. 
  • The dog has green eyes. = El perro tiene los ojos verdes. 
  • My sister has brown skin. = Mi hermana tiene la piel morena.

Paint your world with Spanish 

Now that you have a wide range of Spanish color vocabulary under your belt, your conversations are about to be a lot more colorful! But if you want to deepen your understanding beyond just the basics, Rosetta Stone can help you take your language skills to the next level. 

With Rosetta Stone’s unique immersion approach, you’ll learn Spanish naturally and effectively with real-world conversations, practical topics, and audio guidance from native speakers. Plus, each lesson only takes 10 minutes and can be completed on the go with the Rosetta Stone app. Visit rosettastone.com to start learning Spanish today! 

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