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Korean Colors

Hello and welcome to the lesson on Korean colors! Hopefully you now understand everything covered in lessons 1-9 because that is the best way to begin this lesson. If you skipped ahead, then some parts may be understandable, some may not. Whatever you have decided to do, I hope you come out of this lesson with a good grasp on Korean color words.

Korean Colors

These are a little more complicated than color words in English, but you should be able to handle them!

There are a few ways to deal with color words in Korean, and I will teach you the most basic, common way.

First off, colors can come in a couple forms. There is the word that means just the color. There are color verbs.

For now, you will learn the most basic uses of color words and these should let you use colors just fine in an easy to understand way.

색 means color. Knowing this will allow you to make more sense and understand the rest of this color lesson easily.

I will refer to the chart below throughout the lesson. You may refer to it any time you wish until you learn the colors properly.

Color Adjective / Noun Modifier
파란색 Blue 파란
검정색 Black 까만
하얀색 White 하얀
빨간색 Red 빨간
노란색 Yellow 노란
초록색 Green 초록색
주황색 Orange 주황색
보라색 Purple 보라색
핑크색 / 분홍색 Pink 핑크색 / 분홍색
은색 Silver 은색
금색 Gold 금색
갈색 Light Brown 갈색
밤색 Brown 밤색
회색 Gray 회색

Let's look at the color blue. 파란색. You can think of this as "blue color". 파란 is the part that lets us know it is blue instead of orange, and 색 tells us it is a color we are talking about (you will see when 색 should be included and when it shouldn't be in a minute).

If you are naming colors, then you should put 색 at the end of the color word. From the table above, when naming colors use the actual color name form (the words on the left).

If you are using them as an adjective, such as "The blue car is big." 파란 차가 커요 (크다 - To Be Big). Here...we are just saying that the car is blue, but that isn't the topic of our sentence or anything like that. It is just an adjective or noun modifier describing the car. If that is the case, then you should use the form that is on the right side of the table. Some of the words will have a shortened form, without the 색. Other colors you can't really shorten like that, however. So you would just say 핑크색 차가 커요.

If you do wish to make a sentence stating that something is a certain color, you should use the verb 이다 - To Be. This way it is very easy. You can just take the word for the color, 파란색, 핑크색..whatever the word is...and attach the verb, 파란색이에요. 차가 파란색이에요 means the car is blue. It is very simple this way.

However, you may see other versions of the word. For example, you may see it written as a verb itself, such as 노래요, stating something is yellow. 하얘요 would be white.

What do you think 까매요 is? If you said...color #2 in the chart above, then that's right! They are fairly easy to recognize when you read them, but it may be harder to use them this way yourself because they aren't written exactly the same way when they are combined with 아요 or 어요. A few other examples are 파래요 and 빨개요.

For now, just be aware that these forms do exist. If you see a version of one of the colors similar to these, chances are the sentence states something is that color.




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