Colors - Colours

English Vocabulary

What is the difference betwen Color and Colour?

Both words mean the same thing and its spelling depends on the country where the word is written.

The word Color is used in United States.

The word Colour is used in the rest of the English-speaking countries (England, Australia, NZ etc.)

The names of the more common colours in English appear in the chart below:

Colors in English, Colours in English

What is the difference betwen Gray and Grey?

The same as with the difference between color and colour, it depends on the country.

The word Gray is used in United States.

The word Grey is used in the rest of the English-speaking countries (England, Australia, NZ etc.)

Word order with colours

There are three ways that you can use a colour in a sentence to describe something:

1. To Be + Colour. e.g. My car is blue.

2. Colour + Noun. e.g. The blue car is mine.

3. Colour is the Noun. e.g. Blue is the colour of my car.

Did you know that, because colours give us more information about a person or a thing, they are adjectives in English?


Light - Dark - Bright

You can also talk in shades (or intensity) of colour in English by using such expressions as:

Light is the opposite of Dark.


Bright: a strong colour that is easy to see.

  • Helen has dark green eyes.
  • His light grey hair made him look very distinguished.
  • Her bright pink lipstick doesn't look good.

The words Light, Dark and Bright are placed before the colour.


Colours + ISH

If you are not exactly sure how to describe a colour, we normally use the suffix -ish.

e.g. Greenish (= approximately green but not exactly green)

  • The sunset is a beautiful pinkish-purplish colour today.
  • His shirt is lightish blue in colour.


Typical Things of each Colour

The following is a list of things typically associated with each colour:

Red: Strawberry, Rose, Fire engine, Blood, Heart

Orange: Pumpkin, Carrot, Basketball

Yellow: Cheese, Sun, Butter, Lemon

Green: Grass, Lettuce, Frog, Leaf, Lizard

Blue: Sky, Ocean, Blueberry, Whale

Black: Bat, Night, Tire (tyre), Fly

White: Paper, Sugar, Milk, Snow, Sheep

Pink: Pig, Tongue, Cotton candy (Candy floss)

Brown: Wood, Cigar, Earth, Acorn, Horse

Grey / Gray: Rock, Lead, Dust, Mouse, Elephant

Purple: Bruise, Grapes

How many more things can you add to each colour?

Examples of each color in English

English Vocabulary Game

Try our interactive vocabulary game to practice the colours in English

What next?

You might want to check out our notes about Adjectives and their opposites.

If you found this English vocabulary about Colours / Colors useful, share it with others:

Last Updated: 05 December 2015
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