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How do you say the colors in French?

Learning to say colors in French is an important step in building your French vocabulary. Colors are all around us every day, so knowing them in French will help you describe the world around you. In this article, we’ll go over how to pronounce the basic colors in French, tricks to help you remember them, and vocab lists to boost your color word knowledge.

The Basics: Pronouncing Common French Colors

Let’s start with some of the most common French color words. Listen carefully to the pronunciation for each word, and practice saying them aloud:

  • Rouge (roozh) – Red
  • Bleu (bluh) – Blue
  • Vert (vehr) – Green
  • Jaune (zhoh-n) – Yellow
  • Orange (oh-rahnzh) – Orange
  • Rose (rohz) – Pink
  • Violet (vee-oh-lay) – Purple
  • Marron (mah-rohn) – Brown
  • Noir (nwahr) – Black
  • Blanc (blahN) – White
  • Gris (gree) – Gray

When you first start, listening to native speaker pronunciations can help. With practice, these will start to feel natural. Focus on the unique vowel sounds and rolled r’s. As you’re learning, say the colors aloud regularly to train your mouth and memory.

Tricks for Memorization

Having trouble remembering some color words? Try these memorization tips:

  • Make associations – Associate a color with an image or object. For example, vert (green) can be associated with verdure (greenery).
  • Group similar words – Notice similarities between words. Bleu (blue) and blanc (white) have the same first syllable.
  • Use rhymes and repetition – Make up silly rhymes and practice saying them throughout the day.
  • Put them in context – Use the color words regularly in practice sentences.
  • Quiz yourself – Make flashcards or ask someone to quiz you on the words.

With regular practice and use of memorization tricks, you’ll notice the color words becoming easier to recall.

Basic Color Vocabulary List

Here is a handy vocabulary list of common French colors:

French English
Rouge Red
Bleu Blue
Vert Green
Jaune Yellow
Orange Orange
Rose Pink
Violet Purple
Marron Brown
Noir Black
Blanc White
Gris Gray

Refer back to this list often as you practice. Try making your own bilingual color list too. Writing the words down will help reinforce them.

Additional Color Vocabulary

Once you have the basic colors down, it’s time to expand your color vocab even further. Here are some additional colors words to boost your French:

  • Ivoire – Ivory
  • Pourpre – Purple
  • Turquoise – Turquoise
  • Fuschia – Fuchsia
  • Mauve – Mauve
  • Emeraude – Emerald
  • Argent – Silver
  • Or – Gold
  • Bronze – Bronze
  • Moutarde – Mustard
  • Aubergine – Eggplant
  • Saphir – Sapphire
  • Écarlate – Scarlet
  • Miel – Honey
  • Ocre – Ochre
  • Opale – Opal
  • Sépia – Sepia
  • Améthyste – Amethyst
  • Ruby
  • Jade

There are so many color possibilities! Try incorporating one or two new color words into your vocabulary practice each day. You’ll be a French color pro in no time.

Describing Color Intensity

In French, you can also modify colors to describe their intensity. Here are some examples:

  • Rouge foncé – Dark red
  • Bleu pâle – Light blue
  • Vert brillant – Bright green
  • Jaune vif – Vivid yellow

To make a color light or pale, add “pâle” after it. For bright or vivid, use “brillant/brillante” or “vif/vive.” And for dark shades, place “foncé” after the color.

Using Colors in Sentences

When you feel good about your color vocab, put the words into practice in sentences. Here are some examples:

  • J’adore les roses rouges. – I love red roses.
  • Tu as un nouveau pull bleu. – You have a new blue sweater.
  • Cette tarte aux pommes est délicieuse! – This apple pie is delicious!
  • Mon stylo violet ne fonctionne pas. – My purple pen doesn’t work.
  • Le ciel est gris aujourd’hui. – The sky is gray today.

Make up your own sentences using as many color words as you can. You can describe objects, clothes, nature, food, and more. The more you practice applying color vocab, the quicker it will become second nature.


Learning French colors gives you a great foundation to build upon as you develop your vocabulary. Start by mastering the basic colors through repetition, association tricks, and lots of practice. Slowly expand your color word bank and practice using the terms in context. With regular practice, you’ll be able to discuss color comfortably in French. For extra help, use online quizzes, apps, videos, or work with a language tutor. Amusez-vous en ajoutant de la couleur à votre français! (Have fun adding color to your French!)

I hope this article provides a helpful overview of how to pronounce and use color vocabulary in French. Let me know if you have any other questions!