Learn 20 Advanced Colours & Build Your English Vocabulary

Lesson Overview

Lesson Summary 

Build your vocabulary by describing colours better in English! Learn how to say 20 Advanced Colours & download the workbook to practise!

Let’s go well beyond the usual red, green and blue… We’ll explore the different shades of colours and learn how to be more accurate when describing the colour of things.

We will practice pronunciation to ensure your speaking clearly; plus, I’ll show you how to use some great adjective collocations that often get used with colours in English.

So, watch the video to:
✅ learn 20 advanced colour vocabulary words
✅ learn how to PRONOUNCE the different colour vocabulary words
✅ learn popular colour collations

Video Transcript
Section 1
Hey there I’m Emma from mmmEnglish. Today I’ll be teaching you how to say twenty advanced colours in English so you’ll get to expand your vocabulary and learn some more interesting words to use.

We’re definitely going to skip over the ones you’ve already learned at school: red, green, yellow, blue.

We’re going to use some advanced and more accurate descriptions of colour in this lesson. You will get to practise your pronunciation, those tricky consonant clusters and syllable stress and I’ve also made all of this available on a handy colour vocabulary cheat sheet so it’s got all of the collocations and adjectives that I’m going to cover today plus some extra explanations and examples.

And you can download it right down in the description box below.

This lesson is definitely going to help you to beautifully and accurately describe things around you like clothes, makeup graphic design, nature, all of these things so this vocabulary lesson is definitely going to level up your skills.

Make sure you hit that subscribe button and let’s get this rainbow started!

So I’m really excited about this vocabulary lesson because well I’m not sure maybe some of my regular viewers have noticed that I’ve got a green screen going on in my studio which means I can play around with the colours on screen and show you what I’m talking about in this lesson.

So I can easily go like this and like this and I can show you the colours that I’m talking about.

Now if your brain went: Yep that was white, that was brown, that was purple, you’re going to love this lesson because I’ve got some much better, much more accurate words to describe the different shades of colours in English. Now that is a great collocation to learn.

We use the word shades to talk about different versions of the same colour. There are many different shades of yellow or different shades of green. And that is exactly how we’re going to move through this lesson. We’re going to focus on shades of the same colour.

1. Lemon

We’ll get started with shades of yellow and brown.

So the first colour is lemon. So lemon is this pale yellow colour. It’s not quite as intense as yellow. In fact, this colour is often referred to as canary yellow so see the difference already? We’ve got two shades of yellow but there’s so much difference between them.

This is lemon yellow and you’ll notice that many of these words actually reference the world around us, maybe food, flowers, nature so watch out for these extra words throughout the lesson. These colours that remind us of something else in nature.

So this is lemon yellow.

2. Mustard

Now this is mustard. It’s a muted, darker yellow colour, isn’t it? Quite fashionable.

So muted means that it’s not bright or shiny. You can see that this colour isn’t as bright as the lemon colour or the canary yellow and actually as I’m talking, I’m thinking that one of the really cool things about colours in English is that most of the time you can add aY so we could say mustardy.

The new car they bought was mustardy brown.

So it’s really great if you’re not quite sure of the colour or the shades. You could say:

The clouds in the sky were a bluey-grey / bluish-grey.

These are ways to say that it’s sort of that colour, a little bit of that colour, a hint of that colour but not completely.

3. Tawny

Now this is tawny. It’s this light brown to orange colour. Now light is a really great way to describe colours that are not dark or strong and it’s often used when little bits of white or lots of white is mixed in with the colour so it becomes lighter. And there are a few different ways to describe this. Another one will come up later on.

But I want you to keep an eye out or an ear out for these other adverbs and adjectives that you can use to change the shade of colours in English.

4. Bronze

Next up we’ve got bronze. Now that’s a really tricky consonant cluster there, it’s just one syllable, that E is silent, bronze.

So bronze is this metallic brown colour and the adjective metallic is used to describe something that is shiny so often the paint on cars has that sparkle, that shine in it. It’s metallic.

And funny enough we use this colour bronze to describe really tanned skin at the beach. So if you’ve ever been to an Italian beach in summer you will see lots of very bronzed people.

5. Peach

Now we have peach. Make sure you’re really landing that last consonant sound there, that CH sound. Exaggerate it if you have to while you’re practising out loud with me. Peach. Good.

So peach is a colour and a fruit of course, and it’s this beautiful shade of orange, yellow, white and a touch of pink.

6. Pearl white

So technically white is not a colour but it is so useful to know different ways to describe white because there are so many like this is pearl white.

And it usually has a bit of a shine or a sparkle in it, much like an actual pearl so it’s that little rainbowy shine over the top of white. And pearl is often used to describe the really beautiful white of a car, not the flat white colour but the one with the little sheen of colour through it.

Pearl white teeth, very, very white teeth and often makeup as well uses pearl white or pearl to describe that beautiful coloured sheen.

7. Beige

Now this one is a little tricky to pronounce. How do you think this word would be pronounced? Beige.

So can you hear that sound? It’s not very common in English but you do hear it in words like measure and vision. So this word is beige.

So I would describe beige as a pale, dull brown colour. It doesn’t pop, it doesn’t stand out, it’s not bright. Interestingly, you can also use this word as an adjective to describe someone’s personality.

It’s definitely not a positive adjective to describe a person like this because it means that they are dull, kind of boring, they’re a bit beige.

8. Cream

Then we have cream. So cream is a mix of a little yellow and white and of course, it references the cream that we use in cooking so you can imagine that, right?

A cream that you would add to your pasta or dessert, right? It’s inspired by that colour.

9. Ivory

And this is ivory. So ivory has a little bit more brown, there’s a stronger tint of brown than cream because cream is white with a little tint of yellow, this is white with a little tint of brown, right?

So you can see the slight variation here and how useful it is to be able to describe colour, shades like this with slightly different variations to have different words to describe it and be more specific.

10. Auburn

So now let’s talk about shades of red and orange. We have auburn. It’s the same vowel sound in door. So you can hear it has two syllables auburn. And the first one is the stressed one, the second one reduces to the schwa, auburn.

Auburn is this rich red-brown colour and it is most commonly used to describe hair. Do you know anyone or can you think of anyone who has auburn coloured hair?

11. Burgundy

So this is burgundy. It’s a deep red colour with really strong hints of purple and deep is a really lovely word to describe a strong dark colour.

It’s often used with dark shades of red, green, blue, even purple, so we use deep to describe that, like the deep, dark depths of the ocean. It’s that really, really, deep, deep blue.

So we use it with some darker colours to add that extra, extra stronger meaning than just dark.

12. Coral

Let’s talk about some beautiful shades of pink now starting with coral.

So as you can see, this colour is a blend between bright pink and orange. You remember me speaking about bright colours earlier right?

We often use bright together with a colour to talk about one that really pops out so we say: bright pink, bright yellow, bright orange.

13. Fuchsia

Speaking of bright, this is fuchsia. I love this word.

The spelling makes it really difficult to try and pronounce right but if you close your eyes and you just listen to the words that I’m saying, the sounds that I’m making, it might be a little easier. Fuchsia.

Fuchsia is this vibrant, pinkish, purple colour and you can use vibrant to describe a colour that is really strong and lively, it’s sharp, it’s intense. So vibrant, I’m sure you can guess is the opposite of muted and dull.

Okay so vibrant is very full of life.

14. Magenta

Now magenta is also another fabulous shade of pink. It’s quite similar to fuchsia because it’s blended with purple, magenta.

So we’ve got three syllables there. Can you hear where the strongest stress is? Magenta. It’s on that second syllable.

Magenta really is like this hot pink that has this tone of purple in it. It’s really bright and intense like it might almost be burning your eyeballs a little bit right now, I hope not.

15. Teal

Let’s go through some shades of blue and green now. Starting with teal. This is teal.

So it’s just one syllable and it’s this lovely blue-green colour, very calming, teal, which is different to aqua.

So in English, the name for this bluish-green colour is aqua and that colour is very similar to aquamarine which is this bright greenish-blue colour, a little different.

Notice how I said bluish-green for aqua and greenish-blue for aquamarine. This quite literally is the definition of the difference between the two of them. They’re very similar in colour, tone right, one is a little more green, the other is a little more blue. They’re similar but not quite the same as turquoise.

16. Turquoise

So it’s another really tricky one to say if you’re just looking at the word. Turquoise. Again, turquoise is a mix between a brilliant blue and a brilliant green.

Now the adjective brilliant means that it glistens, it shines. It reminds you of shallow water on a pristine, tropical beach doesn’t it, right? Just imagine that.

So instead of saying: Look at the stunning blue water.

You could say: Look at the stunning turquoise water.

Much more impressive.

18. Emerald

And then we’ve got emerald. It’s this really vivid green. Now vivid is a great way to describe a colour that is really strong and it’s bright, it’s vivid green.

That’s a really great collocation to learn, vivid with a colour. Must be a bright colour, vivid and vibrant are very, very similar.

19. Mauve

Let’s talk about some shades of purple. This is mauve. So mauve rhymes with stove if you want to practise. Mauve.

And it’s quite a beautiful colour, a light violet or a light purple colour but it’s not quite as light as lavender.

20. Lavender

Can you say it?

It’s got three syllables, our stress is on the first syllable and lavender is a light purple colour. It’s a mix between pale blue and pale red.

Now I’ve mentioned pale a few times already through this lesson. It’s an adjective that you can use when you want to describe colours that are softer and lighter and they’re less intense so often it means that they’ve mixed with white and become lighter but pale is another way to describe light.

So that’s it. I hope this lesson brightened up your day a little or at least made it more colourful and now you’ve got twenty advanced English colours, adjectives and other collocations that you can be using when you’re describing the world around you.

In fact, I have a short homework task for you. I want you to stand up and walk around, if you’re at home, at your office, wherever you are, see if you can find each one of the colours that we went through in this lesson. They exist everywhere around us.

Don’t forget, I created your colour vocabulary cheat sheet. It’s got all of the collocations and adjectives we went through today plus some extra explanations for you. You can download it from the description box below.

Make sure you subscribe to the channel and check out this next lesson right here. I’ll see you straight in there.

Links mentioned in the video

Related videos