60 French Color Adjectives & Rules & Examples 🌈

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Understand the rule of French color adjectives and practice your French clothes vocabulary with many examples written by my French Skype student Robyn.

Knowing your colors in French is essential to describe anything.

Today, we will learn sixty French color names, I’ll explain the rules of French color adjectives rules and give you many examples using the French clothing vocabulary.

60 French Color Names

You wouldn’t believe the names for colors I found… Pretty much everything is possible. Yet here is a list of colors I’ve heard… So I would say pretty common colors in French.

In bold are the essential colors in French. If you just one to learn the main ones, learn these.

argent (argenté)silver
blanc (blanche)white
brun brown
canaricanary yellow
cerisecherry red
emeraudeemerald green
incarnatcrimson red
or (doré)gold
piepiebald, black and white
rubisruby red
tabactobacco brown
tomatetomato red
violet (violette)purple

More French colors? I’ll direct you to the list of French color names on wikipedia (without translation but with swatches so it’s perfectly clear!)

Color Adjectives Agreements in French

Like any French adjectives, color adjectives will agree in number (singular or plural) and gender (feminine or masculine) with the noun they modify.

Unlike English, French color adjective go after the noun.

  • Des cravates noires – black ties:
    Ties is feminine plural in French so you add an “e” and and “s” to the regular adjective “noir”.
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Invariable French Color Adjectives

However some color adjectives are invariable, meaning they will never change spelling (they won’t agree with the noun they modify).

1 – 🍎💎🌷

Adjectives coming from nouns of fruits, precious stones or flowers are invariable, in general – there are exceptions such as “rose”, “mauve” and “incarnat”.

  1. Des cravates orange – orange ties (not oranges)
  2. Des yeux marron – brown eyes (not marrons)
  3. Des yeux noisette – hazel eyes (not noisettes)

2 – Several colors to make one color

When a color uses several colors, then the color adjectives are invariable.

  1. Une Chemise bleu vert (not bleue verte)
  2. Des yeux gris bleu (not gris bleus)

3 – Nuances of colors

The same rules apply when you nuance a color adjective with an adjective of nuance.

  1. Des cheveux brun foncé. (not bruns foncés)
  2. Une chemise vert pâle. (not verte pâle)

French Color Adjectives Examples

We were reviewing the adjectives of colors with my Australian Skype student Robyn.

For homework, I asked Robyn to review the extended vocabulary list about clothes in my intermediate level audiobook “A Moi Paris L2” (chapter 4), the precise rules about color adjectives in French in my audio lesson on French adjectives (chapter 5) and to write sentences describing what she’d be wearing in certain occasions (and to be creative!).

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More Details & Audio Samples

And now, let’s train with my French Skype student Robyn’s homework. Merci Robyn !

Use the floating blue icon in the bottom right to hide/reveal the English translations below or just click here.

1 – French Clothes for the Beach 👙

Quand je suis à la plage, je porte un maillot de bain noir, un chapeau en paille noir et jaune et un paréo rouge avec des fleurs. J’ai une serviette bleue et j’emporte des sandales jaunes.

When I am at the beach, I wear a black swimsuit, a black and yellow straw hat and a red pareo with flowers. I have a blue towel and I’m taking yellow sandals.

2 – French Clothes for the Office 👔

Quand je suis au bureau, je porte une jupe noire, un chemisier blanc, une ceinture grise, une écharpe rouge et des chaussures à talons noires. Je porte une sacoche noire.

When I’m at the office, I wear a black skirt, a white blouse, a gray belt, a red scarf and black heeled shoes. I carry a black satchel.

3 – Dressy French Clothes 👗

Quand je sors au restaurant, je porte une robe argentée, une écharpe noire, un sac à main argenté et des chaussures incarnates.

When I go out to a restaurant, I wear a silver dress, a black scarf, a silver handbag and incarnate shoes.

Quand je vais à un mariage, je porte une robe verte, un chapeau de paille jaune à large bord, une pochette dorée, des collants beiges et des chaussures à talons marron.

When I go to a wedding, I wear a green dress, a wide-brimmed yellow straw hat, a gold clutch, beige tights and brown heels.

4 – French Clothes for Sports 🥾

Quand je vais faire une randonnée, je porte un pantalon marron, un chemisier rose pâle à manches longues, une veste marron, une ceinture beige, un foulard rose foncé à petits carreaux et une paire de bottes marron foncé.

When I go hiking, I wear brown pants, a pale pink blouse with long sleeves, a brown jacket, a beige belt, a dark pink scarf with small checks and a pair of dark brown boots.

Quand je vais faire une randonnée dans la neige, je porte un pantalon bleu marine, un chandail bleu clair, un manteau rouge avec un col de fourrure, un chapeau rouge en laine, une écharpe blanche, des gants bleu vert et des bottes marron.

When I go for a hike in the snow, I wear navy pants, a light blue sweater, a red coat with a fur collar, a red wool hat, a white scarf, blue green gloves and brown boots.

5 – French Sleepwear Vocabulary 😴

Quand je vais me coucher, je porte une culotte blanche, des chaussettes roses et une chemise de nuit rose clair. Avant, le soir, chez moi, je porte une robe de chambre saumon et des pantoufles orange.

When I go to bed, I wear white panties, pink socks and a light pink nightgown. Before, in the evening, at home, I wear a salmon dressing gown and orange slippers.

You may also like Sharon’s blog about adjectives describing people’s appearance and personality, my blog about how to dress in Paris and French Underwear Vocabulary.

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Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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