How To Use French Colors: Vocabulary & Agreement Rules

French color names are rouge (red), jaune (yellow), bleu (blue), vert (green), orange (orange) blanc (white), noir (black) and gris (gray). The page covers rules for gender agreement for colors as well as a comprehensive list of lesser known and more specific colors.

French colors: Complete Guide For Beginners

French colors: Grammatical rules

Gender agreement for colors

As colors are adjectives they must match the gender and number of the noun they’re describing.

For example, a white house is: une maison blanche.

Blanche is the feminine singular form of white. If you want to say “white houses” you must say, des maisons blanches.

EnglishMasculine singularFeminine singularMasculine pluralFeminine plural
blacknoir noirenoirsnoires
bluebleubleue bleus bleues
brownmarron marronmarronmarron
dark bluebleu foncé bleu foncée bleu foncésbleu foncées
greygris grisegrisgrises
light bluebleu clair bleu clairebleu clairesbleu claires
orangeorange orangeorangeorange
pinkrose roserosesroses
redrouge rougerougesrouges
whiteblanc blancheblancsblanches
yellowjaune jaunejaunesjaunes
French color table

Notes on gender agreement

The following is an example of basic gender agreement for a color that ends in a consonant. Our two examples are vert for green and noir for black. To make each of them feminine, simply add an -e.

  • un vélo vert, une voiture verte a green bike, a green car
  • un panetlon noir, une chemise noire black pants, a black shirt

If a color ends in the letter -e in both the masculine and feminine forms, there’s nothing to change. For example we’re using jaune (yellow). Since it ends in an -e, both the masculine and feminine forms are the same.

  • un chemisier jaune, une jupe jaune a yellow blouse, a yellow skirt

The colors marron (brown) and orange (orange) are invariable. This means that they’re the same for all the forms. For example:

  • une chemise orange, des chemises orange orange shirt, orange shirts
  • une maison marron, des maisons marrons brown house, brown houses

The words clair and foncé can be added to colors mean light and dark, respectively. Notice that they aren’t hyphenated like in English. For example:

  • un chapeau vert foncé a dark-green hat
  • un costume bleu claire a light-blue suit
A blue car (une voiture bleu); A yellow bike (un vélo jaune).

Colors can also be nuanced with elements from nature. Here are some examples:

  • jaune citron yellow lemon
  • rouge framboise red rasberry
  • bleu nuit night blue
  • bleu turquoise blue turquoise
  • gris souris grey mouse

These kinds of color adjectives don’t require gender or number agreement. For example:

  • des lunettes gris souris grey glasses
  • une veste bleu turquoise a blue-turquoise jacket

Finally, the words vif and pale can be added to colors to express bright and light, respectively. For example:

  • rose vif bright pink
  • vert pâle light green
A red house (une maison rouge); A pink house (une maison rose).

List of highly specific colors

The following is an extensive list of lesser known and more specific colors. This list will come in very handy for artists and professionals working in the fashion industry.

  • amethyst améthyste
  • apple green pomme
  • apricot colored abricot
  • azure, sky blue azur
  • black and white pie
  • bright yellow topaze
  • bright yellow serin
  • brown-red puce
  • burgundy lie-de-vin
  • caramel-colored caramel
  • carmine red, crimson carmin
  • celadon céladon
  • champagne champagne
  • charcoal grey gris anthracite
  • cherry red cerise
  • chestnut-brown châtaigne
  • chocolate brown chocolat
  • cobalt blue cobalt
  • copper-colored cuivré
  • coral corail
  • cream-colored crème
  • cyclamen cyclamen
  • daffodil yellow jonquille
  • dark blue bleu foncé
  • dark brown tête-de-nègre
  • dark green cul-de-bouteille
  • dark green pastèque
  • dark orange tango
  • ebony ébène
  • emerald-green émeraude
  • flesh-colored chair
  • garnet-colored grenat
  • golden doré
  • gray-blue ardoise
  • green-yellow réséda
  • greeny-yellow caca d’oie
  • greyish-brown bistre
  • hazel, nut-brown noisette
  • indigo-blue bleu indigo
  • iridescent gorge de pigeon
  • ivory ivoire
  • jade green jade
  • khaki kaki
  • lavender lavande
  • lemon-yellow citron
  • light blue bleu clair
  • light brown café-au-lait
  • light yellow bulle
  • light yellow isabelline isabelle
  • lime green tilleul
  • lovat green vert-de-gris
  • mahogany acajou
  • mother of pearl nacre
  • mouse gray souris
  • muli-colored multicolore
  • mustard yellow moutarde
  • navy blue outremer
  • olive green olive
  • orangey-red, russet capucine
  • periwinkle pervenche
  • petrol blue pétrole
  • pistachio green pistache
  • plum aubergine
  • plum-colored prune
  • poppy red, dark red ponceau, coquelicot
  • purple violet
  • purple-red opéra
  • putty-colored mastic
  • rainbow-colored arc-en-ciel
  • raspberry pink framboise
  • red-brown brique
  • red-maroon sang-de-bœuf
  • russet, yellowish brown feuille-morte
  • rust-colored rouille
  • saffron, saffron-yellow safran
  • salmon pink saumon
  • salt and pepper poivre et sel
  • sapphire blue saphir
  • sepia sépia
  • silver argenté
  • straw-colored paille
  • tobacco-brown tabac
  • turquoise turquoise
  • vermilion, bright red vermillon
  • yellow ocher ocre jaune
  • yellow ochre chamois
  • yellow-green absinthe

Most common colors in French

The following is the list of French colors:

  • beige beige
  • black noir
  • blue bleu
  • brown marron
  • green vert
  • grey gris
  • orange orange
  • pink rose
  • red rouge
  • tan bronzé
  • white blanc
  • yellow jaune

Related lessons:

Download PDF Lesson

More resources:

Sign Up For A FREE Trial French Lesson On Skype And Get Instant Access To My French Pronunciation Crash Course.

Get the French Pronunciation Crash Course!