The Colors in Greek - Τα χρώματα

The colors - Τα χρώματα

The words that express colors in Greek can be nouns or adjectives. Every color-noun has a respective adjective.

Tip: The noun is identical with the neuter, singular form of the adjective.

Ex. κίτρινο (noun)  κίτρινος(m) - κίτρινη(f) - κίτρινο(n) (adjective).

Μου αρέσει το κίτρινο (used as noun). - I like yellow.
Μου αρέσει το κίτρινο (adjective) χρώμα (noun). - l like the yellow color.
Μου αρέσει η κίτρινη (adjective) μπλούζα (noun). - I like the yellow blouse.

Enough with that.

There are original Greek words for almost every color, but in everyday modern Greek, we use many words for colors that come from foreign languages.
So "μπλε" is the common (French) word for blue, even there is the Greek word "κυανό" that we use mostly in formal speech or in medical terminology.

In this case (where the word is actually foreign), the word keeps the same form and stays the same, no matter what case, gender or number it is (indeclinable words):

Το μπλε φόρεμα. - The blue dress.  (φόρεμα, noun neuter)
Η μπλε γραβάτα - The blue tie.  (γραβάτα, noun feminine)
Η ζώνη του μπλε φορέματος  - The blue dress' belt (φορέματος, genitive case).
Οι μπλε γραβάτες - The blue ties (γραβάτες, noun plural)

These colors are marked below with an asterisk (*).

λευκό, άσπρο  = white

Το πουκάμισό μου είναι άσπρο. = My shirt is white.
Το αγαπημένο μου χρώμα είναι το λευκό. = My favorite color is white.
- Τι ψήφισες; = What did you vote for?
- Λευκό = White. (a blank vote, a protest vote - not "άσπρο" in this phrase)

μαύρο = black

Το αγαπημένο μου χρώμα είναι το μαύρο. = My favorite color is black.
Όλα είναι μαύρα κι άραχνα. = Everything is black and miserable.(άραχνος - mostly in this phrase)
Φοράει μαύρα γιατί πενθεί. = She (he) wears black because she(he) is in mourning.

κόκκινο =  red

Το αγαπημένο χρώμα του Γιάννη είναι το κόκκινο. = John's favorite color is red.
Έγινε κόκκινος από θυμό. = He turned red in anger.

κίτρινο = yellow

Δε μου αρέσει το κίτρινο. = I don't like yellow.
Είχε ένα παράξενο κίτρινο χρώμα. = He (she, it) had a strange yellow color.
Η Μαρία μου έδωσε κίτρινα λουλούδια. = Mary gave me yellow flowers.

πράσινο = green

Έχω μια πράσινη φούστα. = I have a green skirt.
Τα μάτια μου είναι πράσινα. = Μy eyes are green.
Η Ελένη έχει πράσινα μάτια. = Helen has green eyes.

μπλε*= blue (Attention: it keeps always the same form: μπλε)

Το μπλε είναι ένα χρώμα. = Blue is a color.
Μου αρέσει το μπλε. = I like blue.
Δεν υπάρχουν μπλε καρότα. = There are no blue carrots.

γαλάζιο = (light) blue

Τα μάτια της είναι γαλάζια. = Her eyes are blue (or light blue).
Το γαλάζιο του ουρανού στην Ελλάδα είναι μαγικό.  = The blue of the sky in Greece is magical.

μοβ* = purple

It used to be written with "ω" (μωβ) but quite recently the orthographic rules for foreign words have changed in the Greek grammar and we write all the words of foreign derivation with the simplest vowels, that are "ι", "ε" and "ο". Still, if you write "μωβ", it might not be considered wrong.

*λιλά = lilac, lavander
*χακί = khaki
*ροζ = pink
*φούξια = fuchsia
*τιρκουάζ = turquoise
*καφέ = brown
*γκρι = gray
χρυσαφί = golden
ασημί = silver
κυπαρισσί = the green of the cypress
λαχανί = the green of the cabbage (or "fluorescent" light green)
βυσσινί = the deep red color of the sour cherry
*μπεζ = beige
πορτοκαλί = orange *πορτοκάλι = orange, the fruit
μουσταρδί = the color of mustard
ώχρα(f) = ochre

For the pronunciation and more examples, watch my YouTube video lesson!

Hope you loved this colorful lesson!What colors did you find in common with your own language?