Colors in German – Essential Adjectives


“What color is the German flag?“

“I love this blue house!” 

“He has green eyes.”

Colors are essential in our daily life. Knowing how to say them in German is one of the primary things one learns. 

The first words you learn in any language are usually nouns and verbs, as they are essential to make a sentence.

That is why many students struggle with describing things, as adjectives are often left out at the beginning.

Colors are the easiest adjectives you can learn, and they’ll definitely make your vocabulary a lot more rich and colorful. 

10 Basic Colors in German

  • 🇩🇪 grün – 🇺🇸 green 
  • 🇩🇪 blau – 🇺🇸 blue
  • 🇩🇪 gelb – 🇺🇸 yellow
  • 🇩🇪 braun – 🇺🇸 brown
  • 🇩🇪 schwarz – 🇺🇸 black 
  • 🇩🇪 weiß – 🇺🇸 white 
  • 🇩🇪 rot – 🇺🇸 red 
  • 🇩🇪 lila – 🇺🇸 purple 
  • 🇩🇪 orange – 🇺🇸 orange 
  • 🇩🇪 grau – 🇺🇸 grey

Where to Put a Color in a Sentence?

Colors are adjectives, so you have to follow the general adjective rules in the German language in a sentence. 

There are two ways how to use colors in a sentence:

Let’s start with the easier one:

1.  The adjective (color) comes after the verb “sein”

🇩🇪 Das Haus ist blau. 
🇺🇸 The house is blue. 

🇩🇪 Die Katze ist weiß.
🇺🇸 The cat is white.

🇩🇪 Der Tisch ist rot.
🇺🇸 The table is red.

In German, you need to use the conjugated form of the verb “to be”  to describe a person or a thing. 

2. The adjective (color) Comes Before the Noun. 

Here is a second way how you can put an adjective in a sentence. 

🇩🇪 Das blaue Haus gehört meiner Oma.
🇺🇸 The blue house belongs to my grandma.

🇩🇪 Die weiße Katze wird vermisst.
🇺🇸 The white cat is missing.

🇩🇪 Der rote Tisch ist rund.
🇺🇸 The red table is round.

As you can see from the examples above, the colors changed a little bit. It is not “blau” anymore, but “blaue.” The same happened to white(weiße) and red(rote).

What is the difference? 

Essentially, the meaning stays the same, blue stays blue. 

But because we put the adjective before the noun, we have to decline the endings. This declination follows the rules of the German case system. 

All of the sentences above are in the Nominative case, and they have the direct article. If that is the case, you need to use the ending -e for masculine, feminine, and neutral nouns. 

The table below shows you the declination of the adjectives(colors) for the direct article in each case. 

Masculie Feminine Neutral Plural
NominativDer rote Tisch Die rote Katze Das rote HausDie roten Äpfel
GenetivDes roten TischesDer roten Katze Des roten HausesDer roten Äpfel
Dativ Dem roten Tisch Der roten KatzeDem roten HausDen roten Äpfeln
AkkusativDen roten TischDie rote KatzeDas rote HausDie roten Äpfel

Indirect article

The table above is used only for the direct articles (der, die, das). 

For indirect articles (ein, eine), as well as for Possessive articles (mein, dein, sein…) and the negation articles (kein, keine), the declinations look different.

Masculie Feminine Neutral Plural
NominativEin roter Tisch Eine rote Katze Ein rotes Hausroten Äpfel
GenetivEines roten TischesEiner roten Katze Eines roten Hausesroter Äpfel
Dativ Einem roten Tisch Einer roten KatzeEinem roten Hausroten Äpfeln
AkkusativEinen roten TischEine rote KatzeEin rotes Hausrote Äpfel

Examples of Colors in German 

Okay, enough grammar for today. 

Let’s take a look at some valuable phrases where colors will make your life easier:

🇩🇪 Ich möchte einen schwarzen Kaffee.
🇺🇸 I’d like a black coffee.

🇩🇪 Möchten Sie braunen oder weißen Zucker?
🇺🇸 Do you want brown or white sugar?

🇩🇪 Meine Lieblingsfabre ist lila. 
🇺🇸 My favorite color is purple.

🇩🇪 Mir gefällt die Farbe orange nicht.
🇺🇸 I don’t like the color orange.

🇩🇪 Ich liebe deine blauen Augen.
🇺🇸 I love your blue eyes.

🇩🇪 Ich suche gelbe Glühlampen für mein Wohnzimmer.
🇺🇸 I’m looking for yellow lamps for my living room.

🇩🇪 Das Team mit den grünen T-Shirts spielt viel besser.
🇺🇸 The team with the green T-shirts is playing much better.

🇩🇪 Ich suche ein pinkes Kleid für die Hochzeit meiner Schwester.
🇺🇸 I’m looking for a pink dress for my sister’s wedding. 

🇩🇪 Er wird seine Küche grün streichen.
🇺🇸 He’s going to paint his kitchen green. 

🇩🇪 Ich finde, gelb steht mir nicht.
🇺🇸 I don’t think yellow suits me.

🇩🇪 Er parkt neben dem blauen Auto .
🇺🇸 He parks next to the blue car.

As you can see, colors are essential and can make our life easier in situations like giving directions or ordering your favorite type of coffee without any difficulties.

Advanced Colors in German 

For any artists and designers out there, who may not be satisfied with the basic colors, here’s something extra:

  • 🇩🇪 Türkis – 🇺🇸 turquoise
  • 🇩🇪 Silber – 🇺🇸 silver
  • 🇩🇪 Gold – 🇺🇸 gold
  • 🇩🇪 Beige – 🇺🇸 beige
  • 🇩🇪 Khaki – 🇺🇸 khaki
  • 🇩🇪 Kastanienbraun – 🇺🇸 maroon
  • 🇩🇪 Lachs – 🇺🇸 salmon
  • 🇩🇪 Fuchsie – 🇺🇸 fuchsia 
  • 🇩🇪 Indigo – 🇺🇸 indigo 
  • 🇩🇪 Marineblau – 🇺🇸 navy
  • 🇩🇪 Zyanblau – 🇺🇸 cyan
  • 🇩🇪 Zitronengrün – 🇺🇸 lime 

Have a colorful day!

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Rozalia Olszewska

Rozalia Olszewska

Young and passionate German online tutor with lots of energy. Fluent in 3 languages and currently polishing her Spanish and French.

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