The Japanese word
for "color" is 色 iro Click on
the for a sound file of the word or download
all the files for this page here
Colors are used
grammatically in two ways, as nouns and as adjectives. The actual
color names as nouns are listed in the second column. The
examples in the third column show how to use the colors as nouns
and how to make them into adjectives.
COLOR NAMES AS NOUNS
WHEN USED AS AN
ADJECTIVE MOST COLOR NAMES ADD A "い"
1) 黄色 はきれい。 kiiro wa kirei desu. Yellow is pretty. (this is a noun)
2) 黄色い とりはきれいです。kiiroi tori wa kirei desu. The yellow bird is pretty. (this is an
1) そらは青いです。 sora wa aoi desu. The sky is blue.
2) あの青いいけはきれいです。ano aoi ike wa kirei desu. That blue pond is pretty.
1) このはなは赤いです。 kono hana wa akai desu. This flower is red.
2) これは赤いはなです。kore wa akai hana desu. This is a red flower.
1) ゆきはしろい。 yuki wa shiroi. Snow is white.
wa shiroi gohan o amari tabenai. Foreigners don't usually eat
plain, white rice (with no butter or salt...).
1) 黒いふくが好きじゃない。 kuroi fuku ga suki ja nai. I don't like black clothes.
灰色 hai iro
the color of
make this into an adjective that connects to another word
add の no>
1) 灰色のくつしたがほしい。 haiiro no kutsushita ga hoshii. I want grey socks.
1) 紫のはなが一番好き。 murasaki no hana ga ichiban suki. I like purple flowers the
1) 木は緑です。 ki wa midori desu. A tree is green.
2) 牛は緑のくさを食べたい。ushi wa midori no kusa o
cow wants to eat green grass.
In Japanese, the word for "Black & White"
is "White & Black" - 白黒shiro
In Japan, traffic light signals are said to be RED
赤 aka, BLUE 青 ao (not green), and YELLOW黄 ki Once I was driving my Japanese friend
around in America. We were stopped at a light and were having a nice conversation
when suddenly she yells, "It's BLUE!" I said, "What?"
And she repeated, "It's BLUE!" Then I looked up to the signal and
said, "Oh! It's GREEN!"
Sometimes Blues and Greens are interchanged in Japanese
Many colors are used in people's names
Most Japanese children draw the sun not yellow but RED
Polar Bears are White bears in Japanese 白熊shiro kuma