1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Japanese Lesson 35: Colors pa…


Japanese Lesson 35: Colors part 2


Gray: Haiiro: はいいろ: 灰色
Adj. form: Haiiro no: はいいろの: 灰色の
NOTE: Oh, look, an exception to our usual rule. This one does NOT become an "i" adjective, it's a "no" adjective. Hmm.

Color: Iro: いろ: 色

Brown: Chairo: ちゃいろ: 茶色*
Adj. form: Chairoi: ちゃいろい: 茶色い

Colorful: Iroazayaka (na): いろあざやか (な): 色鮮やか(な)
Karafuru na: カラフル(な)
NOTE: Only use the "na" at the end when the word comes BEFORE the noun it's describing. Otherwise leave it off.

Pink: Pinku: ピンク
adj form: Pinku no: ピンクの

Purple: Murasaki: むらさき: 紫

  • I don't know about you, but I like how "Brown" is written "Tea color"
    (お)茶 = Ocha = Tea + 色 = Iro = Color

Her color is pink.
Kanojo no iro wa pinku desu.
かのじょ の いろ は ピンク です。

The shoes are colorful.
Kutsu wa iroazayaka desu.
くつ は いろあざやか です。

His shoes are brown.
Kare no kutsu wa chairo desu.
かれ の くつ は ちゃいろ です。

Your color is purple.
Anata no iro wa murasaki desu.
あなた の いろ は むらさき です。

My suit is gray.
Watashi no su-tsu wa haiiro desu.
わたし の スーツ は はいいろ です。

The hat is purple.
Boushi wa murasaki desu.
ぼうし は むらさき です。

The hats are colorful.
Boushi wa iroazayaka desu.
ぼうし は いろあざやか です。

I have a brown hat.
Watashi wa chairoi boushi o motteimasu.
わたし は ちゃいろい ぼうし を もっています。 私は茶色い帽子を持っています。

The horse is not gray.
Uma wa haiiro dewa arimasen.
うま は はいいろ では ありません。

  • Uma wa haiiro dewa nai.
    うま は はいいろ では ない。

  • Uma wa haiiro ja arimasen.
    うま は はいいろ じゃ ありません。

  • Uma wa haiiro ja nai.
    うま は はいいろ じゃ ない。

My pink shirt.
Watashi no pinku no shatsu.

The elephant is gray.
Zou wa haiiro desu.
ぞう は はいいろ です。

:D that's it for today! Until next time!!

Next Lesson

Previous Lesson

First Lesson

Table of Contents

July 31, 2015



Here's a fun website where you can see a massive list of traditional Japanese colors, their names, and their hex values.



Adj. form: Haiiro no: はいいろの: 灰色の
NOTE: Oh, look, an exception to our usual rule. This one does NOT become an "i" adjective, it's a "no" adjective. Hmm.

Hmmmm how certain are you about this? My understanding was that (and this applies to other colours as well) 灰色 is a noun so takes a の to describe something as that colour, but 灰色い is an い -adjective so behaves as you expect for those things. So you have the option of 灰色の帽子 or 灰色い帽子. 灰色い returns google hits at least... although my IME doesn't like it so maybe it's not strictly speaking correct. :P

Edit: This page says you can go both ways. :D


IME didn't like it, and Rikaichan and Jisho both told me it's actually a "no" adjective.

EDIT: Well okay then. I'll edit the post


EDIT: Well okay then. I'll edit the post

It is possible that both the page and I are wrong. Where's a native speaker when you need one? :P

Edit: Yeah Jisho is pretty explicit about it eh? :P


Fine I'll leave it as it is and we'll wait for a more native speaker. Sounds good to me. XD


Yeah, 灰色い is not a word. Some of the color words that contain "色” like the examples given on the website you link, 茶色い and 黄色い, can go either way, but gray is just a のーadjective.


So... whether or not it can be an い-adjective doesn't just depend on whether the final part is 色?! Thanks, Japanese. :/

What's the deal with the Google hits then? Common mistake?


There are dozens of colors that end in "色" that are all no-adjectives. Another fairly common on is "水色." The two exceptions are brown (茶色い) and yellow (黄色い.) The google hits are almost all blogs and tweets, nothing from a substantive Japanese language source, and actually poking around, it seems that some of the hits are by non-native speakers writing in Japanese. Of course it's easy to see how "灰色い" is an easy mistake to make. But when you are typing in a Japanese input program, "灰色い" doesn't auto-convert at all, so I had to go out of my way to type it.

So, 灰色の帽子 is correct. Or, you could say "彼の帽子は灰色だった."


it seems that some of the hits are by non-native speakers writing in Japanese.

Ah! That would make sense. Thanks for the clarification. Have some lingots as a token of my appreciation.


Thank you! I gave you some lingots as well. :D


Thanks for the lingots! Japanese adjectives are so fiddly. I thought I finally got the hang of them and then I learned about "taru-adjectives" and I was like.... when does this end?!? Luckily they aren't used frequently. And also, it never ends, when it comes to Japanese grammar.


What are the words for 'Golden' and 'Silver' color? Add those in list too.
Thanks... : )


Gold = kin きん 金 silver = gin  ぎん 銀 There are famous gold and silver temples in Kyoto Japan if you are interested, 'Kinkakuji' gold temple and 'Ginkakuji' silver temple.


I'll just go ahead and add a bonus lesson with gold, silver, yellow-green, light-blue, and dark blue (and any other inbetweens I can find)


年配の(年を取った)人は灰色 を ネズミ色 と言うことがあります。でもみんなほとんど 服には グレー を使います。 だってグレーのほうが灰色よりオシャレでかっこいいから

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.