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What do buying clothes, talking about art, and shopping for fruits and vegetables have in common? Color! If you want to make sure to buy red tomatoes and critique an artist’s use of green, you’ll need to know the French colors.
|bleu clair||light blue|
|vert foncé||dark green|
Light and dark
The qualifiers clair (light) and foncé (dark) can be used with any color:
- violet clair, vert clair (light purple, light green)
- rouge foncé, bleu foncé (dark red, dark blue)
Colors are adjectives, and like other adjectives, they usually must agree with the nouns they modify in gender and number. For colors that are pronounced differently when masculine vs feminine (e.g., gris/grise, violet/violette, blanc/blanche), both are pronounced in the sound files.
But there are many exceptions: agreement with color adjectives.
French expressions with colors
- Allez les Bleus ! – Go French team!
- bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet – same difference
- faire une nuit blanche – to be up all night
Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on French colors with these fill-in-the-blank exercises:
- Animal colors quiz (Worksheet, 2nd-3rd grade)
- Beach time: color adjective exercise (Worksheet, 3rd-5th grade)
- Color by numbers (Worksheet, 3rd-5th grade)
- Color me: animals (Worksheet, K-2nd grade)
- Color words (Worksheet, K-6th grade)
- Eye-popping color name game (Lesson, 1st-6th grade)
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