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How to Express Sentences with Colors in Mandarin?



Chinese Colors in Mandarin: How to Say in Chinese

Chinese colors are often used in Mandarin than English or perhaps, more than any other languages. The Chinese language not only uses color as an adjective to describe the object but also incorporate them into our everyday life as meaningful Chinese proverbs, idioms or common saying.

Today, we will only introduce you the names of the colors in Chinese as a foundation, so you know how to describe them at an elementary level. Once you know the names of most primary Chinese colors, you can start giving a more descriptive sentence and even praise your friends for wearing a particular colour that suits them!


Rainbow Colors in Chinese

Rainbow has how many colors? What are the colors?

彩虹有几种颜色? 它有什么颜色?
Cǎi hóng yǒu jǐ zhǒng yán sè? Tā yǒu shé me yán sè?


Rainbow has seven colors. They are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet respectively.

彩虹有7种颜色。它们分别是红、橙、黄、绿、蓝、靛和紫。
Cǎi hóng yǒu qī zhǒng yán sè. Tā men fēn bié shì hóng, chéng, huáng, lǜ, lán, diàn hé zǐ.

 

Chinese Colors Vocabulary

Chinese Color Terms

Color 色,色彩, 颜色Sè, Sè cǎi, Yán sè
Dark Color深色Shēn sè
Light Color浅色Qiǎn sè
Warm Color暖色Nuǎn sè xì
Cool Color冷色Lěng sè xì
Neutral Color中性色Zhōng xìng sè xì
Series系,系列Xì, Xì liè,
Primary Color主色Zhǔ sè
Secondary Color辅色Fǔ sè
Color Matching / Combination色彩搭配Sè cǎi dā pèi
Bright Color鲜艳的颜色Xiān yàn de yán sè
Dull Color 暗淡的颜色Àn dàn de yán sè
Colorful        五颜六色,七彩缤纷,色彩鲜艳,色彩丰富,富有色彩Wǔ yán liù sè, Qī cǎi bīn fēn, Sè cǎi xiān yàn, Sè cǎi fēng fù, Fù yǒu sè cǎi

 

Other Chinese Colors

White Color白色Bái sè
Black Color黑色Hēi sè
Grey Color灰色Huī sè
Gold Color金色Jīn sè
Silver Color银色Yín sè
Bronze Color铜色Tóng sè
Brown Color棕色Zōng sè
Coffee Color咖啡色Kā fēi sè
Nude Color肉色Ròu sè
Pink Color粉色, 粉红色Fěn sè, Fěn hóng sè

 

Vocabulary Associated with Chinese Colors

Here are some Chinese Vocabulary frequently associated with various colors in our daily life. We will apply these terms below together with the use of the Chinese Colors to form some sentences.

What colour什么颜色Shén me Yán sè
Like喜欢 Xǐ huān
Wear穿Chuān
Clothes衣服Yī fú
Rather, Relatively (Comparative)比较,较Bǐ jiào, Jiào
Suitable, Fit适合Shì hé
More suitable比较适合Bǐ jiào shì hé
Less suitable比较不适合Bǐ jiào bù shì hé
Most (Superlative)Zuì
Represent代表Dài biǎo

 

Describing Your Color

It can be monotonous to describe the colors as they are without having some adjectives. Sometimes, you want to provide more information about the type of colors that you have. For instance,

  • Dark blue color | 深蓝色 | shēn lán sè or
  • Light green color | 浅绿色 | qiǎn lǜ sè.
Dark Shēn   +   Color
Light Qiǎn   +   Color

 

Blue and yellow equal what colour?
Blue and yellow equal to green colour.

蓝色加黄色等于什么颜色?
蓝色加黄色等于绿色。

Lán sè jiā huáng sè děng yú shén me yán sè?
Lán sè jiā huáng sè děng yú lǜ sè.


Neutral color series include which colors?
Neutral color series refers to black, white, grey – three colors.

中性色系包括什么颜色?
中性色系就是指黑、白、灰, 三种颜色。

Zhōng xìng sè xì bāo kuò shén me yán sè?
Zhōng xìng sè xì jiù shì zhǐ hēi, bái, huī, sān zhǒng yán sè.



Chinese Adjectives with colours

We can use Chinese colors as an adjective for a noun with the use of de in between them.

Color de + Noun

 

Why do the Chinese people prefer red things?

为什么华人比较喜欢红色的东西?
Wèi shé me huárén bǐ jiào xǐ huān hóng sè de dōng xī?


Because most Chinese people feel that red color represents auspicious and good luck. Especially during the Lunar Chinese New Year and marriage, we like to use red as the primary color.

因为大多数华人都认为红色代表吉利和好运。尤其是在华人农历新年和结婚的时候,我们都喜欢以红色为主色。

Yīn wéi dà duō shù huá rén dōu rèn wéi hóng sè dài biǎo jí lì hé hǎo yùn. Yóu qí shì zài huá rén nóng lì xīn nián hé jié hūn de shí hòu, wǒ men dōu xǐ huān yǐ hóng sè wéi zhǔ sè.

 

People with darker skin are more suitable to dye what hair color?

皮肤较黑的人适合染什么颜色的头发?
Pí fū jiào hēi de rén shì hé rǎn shén me yán sè de tóu fǎ?


I am also not sure. I have no research on color matching.

我也不清楚。我对颜色搭配没有研究。
Wǒ yě bù qīng chǔ. Wǒ duì yán sè dā pèi méi yǒu yán jiū.

 

What colour combination is suitable for me?

什么颜色搭配比较适合我?
Shén me yán sè dā pèi bǐ jiào shì hé wǒ?


I think that you are more suitable to wear a yellow top with dark grey jeans. Perfect color combination!

我觉得你比较适合穿黄色的上衣配深灰色的牛仔裤。完美的颜色组合!

Wǒ jué dé nǐ bǐ jiào shì hé chuān huáng sè de shàng yī pèi shēn huī sè de niú zǎi kù. Wán měi de yán sè zǔ hé!

 

Chinese Colours Associated with Dressing and Clothes

Discussing and giving advice on the colours of clothes is always a great way to break the ice and practise your Mandarin.

What do you think of my dressing today?

你觉得我今天的穿着如何?
Nǐ jué dé wǒ jīn tiān de chuān zhuó rú hé?


Wearing bright colored clothes can make a person look more energetic.

穿鲜艳颜色的衣服会使一个人看起来比较有精神。
Chuān xiān yàn yán sè de yī fú huì shǐ yī gè rén kàn qǐ lái bǐ jiào yǒu jīng shén.


Most lawyers wear a white shirt and a black jacket.

大多数的律师都穿白色的衬衫和黑色的外套。
Dà duō shǔ de lǜ shī dōu chuān bái sè de chèn shān hé hēi sè de wài tào.


Women who wear black seem more mysterious. Wearing red represents sexiness.

女人穿黑色的衣服看起来比较有神秘感。穿红色代表性感。
Nǚ rén chuān hēi sè de yī fú kàn qǐ lái bǐ jiào yǒu shén mì gǎn. Chuān hóng sè dài biǎo xìng gǎn.


You look great when you wear this color of clothes!

你穿这个颜色的衣服很好看!
Nǐ chuān zhè ge yán sè de yī fú hěn hǎo kàn!

 

For the last example above, give your classmate, friend or colleague a praise Chinese language the next time when you think that they look great in some colors.

Other Examples of Colors in Chinese

I want to use a warm color series to decorate my new house. What you do you think? But, my children prefer cool color series.

我想以温色系的颜色布置我的新家。你觉得如何?可是,我的孩子们比较喜欢冷色系的颜色。

Wǒ xiǎng yǐ wēn sè xì de yán sè bù zhì wǒ de xīn jiā. Nǐ jué dé rú hé? Kě shì, wǒ de hái zimen bǐ jiào xǐ huān lěng sè xì de yán sè.


(What do you think) What color of mobile looks nicer? The pink one or the light blue one?

你觉得什么颜色的手机比较好看?粉红色的还是浅蓝色的?
Nǐ jué dé shén me yǎn sè de shǒu jī bǐ jiào hǎo kàn? Fěn hóng sè de hái shì qiǎn lán sè de?


During the Christmas period, the street is hung with colorful lights. How enchanting!

在圣诞节期间,街上挂满着五颜六色的灯光。好迷人啊!
Zài shèng dàn jié qí jiān, jiē shàng guà mǎn zhe wǔ yán liù sè de dēng guāng. Hǎo mí rén a!


Today, the sky is very bluish, most suited for photo-taking.

今天的天空好蓝,最适合拍照。
Jīn tiān de tiān kōng hǎo lán, zuì shì hé pāi zhào.


The sky is grey and cloudy. It is going to rain soon.

天灰灰,云很多,快要下雨了。
Tiān huī huī, yún hěn duō, kuài yào xià yǔ le.


Two Chinese Colors Advice

To end this lesson, I have two interesting sentences about colors in Mandarin. The first is a Chinese Saying. The second one, you have to comprehend yourself for the Chinese adjective.

As the (Chinese) saying goes, “wearing coloured glasses” means “having a prejudice against others”.

俗语说: “带着有色眼镜看人”,就是指对别人有偏见。
Súyǔ shuō: “Dài zhe yǒu sè yǎn jìng kàn rén” jiù shì zhǐ duì bié rén yǒu piān jiàn.


Please do not wear coloured glasses to look at me. I am not such a person.

请你不要带着有色眼镜看我。我不是这样的人。
Qǐng nǐ bù yào dài zhe yǒu sè yǎn jìng kàn wǒ. Wǒ bù shì zhè yàng de rén.

 

Whatever color is fine. (But) men cannot be lustful. (好色 literal translation is “good color”)

什么颜色都行。男人好色就不行。
Shén me yán sè dōu xíng. Nán rén hào sè jiù bù xíng.

 

There are tons of interesting Chinese Proverbs with colours. I guess I have to leave the writing for the future.

 

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