Colors in Korean: Complete list with audio & usage examples

How To Say 'Color' In Korean

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If you want to know more about the colors in Korean, then you came to the right place! Whatever your favorite color is, we’ll teach you the words you need to know.

Here is a list of the colors in Korean:

In addition to the different color words in Korean, we’re going to cover some examples and special uses that you’ll definitely want to know. These situations appear in Korean language, culture, music, and everyday life all the time.

Learn a few color words, and you’ll be recognizing and using Korean more than you might expect!

Are you ready to brighten your day with Korean colors? Let’s continue on!

A paint board with different colors on it

In this lesson, we’ll explain the words and phrases using both Hangeul (Korean Alphabet) and in romanized English. If you don’t know Hangeul, you can get a free guide here and learn how to read in less than 1 hour.

How to Say “Color” in Korean

The word for “color” in Korean is 색깔 (saekkkal).

색깔 (saekkkal)

color

You can often get by just by referring to color as 색 (saek), but it does slightly depend on the context.

색 (saek)

color

If you look up the word “color” in the dictionary, you may also come across the Konglish word 컬러 (kheolleo | color). You’ll be understood if you use this word, but our advice would be to use 색 (saek) instead. The word “color” also occasionally translates to 빛깔 (bitkkal) in Korean.

You’ve now learned that the word for “color” in Korean is 색 (saek). When naming a color in its basic form, you’ll add the word 색 (saek) after the color. It’s important to know 색 (saek) so you can use it with the Korean colors. Let’s learn its use with the vocabulary below.

List of Colors in Korean

Below is a list of all colors in Hangul. The list contains various shades of Korean color words.

They’re great words to know and incorporate into your plan for learning Korean. For more essential Korean words, go here.

How to Use the Colors in Korean

You can use the above colors in Korean as nouns or as adjectives.

For example:

빨간색 좋아해요 (ppalgansaek joahaeyo)

I like the color red.

빨간색 자전거 좋아해요 (ppalgansaek jajeongeo joahaeyo)

I like red bicycles.

Although 빨간색 (ppalgansaek) is a noun in the second example, it acts as an adjective, describing the color of bicycles.

This is how you’ll commonly see colors in Korean used, and is a great way to start learning them. It’s simple and gives you lots of ways to use the various colors.

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Special Korean Colors

There are 5 special color words in Korean that you may see different forms of. We’re going to cover them below.

Before we get into that, remember that you can still use the Korean colors above. That’s the simplest way to start, and what we recommend. The next part is helpful because you’re going to see these other color words, so it’s better to know why they appear in that form.

Also it’ll give you some additional ways to use the colors in Korean.

The five words below are descriptive verbs (adjectives) that have base forms. Here are the base forms, as well as the adjective form when it’s placed in front of a noun.

As you may know from Korean grammar and conjugation rules, adjectives can come before a noun, or at the end of a sentence.

For example:

1. 빨간 자전거 좋아해요 (ppalgan jajeongeo joahaeyo)

I like red bicycles

2. 자전거 빨개요 (jajeongeo ppalgaeyo)

The bicycle is red

3. 자전거 빨간색이에요 (jajeongeo ppalgansaegieyo)

The bicycle is red

In the first example, we’re using the descriptive verb (adjective) 빨갛다 (ppalgata) in front of the noun that it’s modifying (the bicycle).

In the second example, the 빨갛다 (ppalgata) is conjugated as the main descriptive verb (adjective) of the sentence. It’s describing the bicycle’s color.

In the third example, we’re using 빨갛다 (ppalgata) in its noun form, along with the verb 이다 (ida | to be).

Korean Color Adjectives vs. Nouns

Most of the words for the colors in Korean aren’t going to have the descriptive verb (adjective) base form. Instead, you’ll just use noun + 색 (saek). Let’s take the color word 초록색 (choroksaek) for “green”. Since you won’t be using it as the main conjugated descriptive verb of the sentence, you’ll only use it for cases 1 and 3 above.

For example:

초록색 자전거 좋아해요 (choroksaekjajeongeo joahaeyo)

I like green bicycles

자전거 초록색이에요 (jajeongeo choroksaegieyo)

The bicycle is green

In other words, the word for “red” in Korean changes based on how it’s used. In the Korean language, these words exist in their basic adjective verb form, which is -ㅎ다. In use, is -ㅎ다 (-ㅎ da) is replaced by -ㄴ. The color words that continue to use 색 (saek) do not have such a form.

When should I add the Korean word “색 (saek)” to colors?

If you want to describe something to be a specific color, you can attach 색 (saek) with the 이다 (ida) verb. To illustrate clearly how the color words work in sentences, check out some examples below.

Colored pencils drawing on paper

How to Say White in Korean

The two common ways to say the color white in Korean are 하얀색 (hyayansaek) and 흰색 (huinsaek). You can use them interchangeably. If you want to describe something as white, you can put those words before a noun.

For example:

햐얀색 말 (hyayansaek mal)

a white horse

흰색 말 (huinsaek mal)

a white horse

How to Say Black in Korean

There are a few different ways to say the color black in Korean. You can use 검정색 (geomjeongsaek jadongcha), 검은색 (geomeunsaek), or 까만색 (kkamansaek). They all mean the color black, so you can use any of them.

To describe something as black, you can use any of those three words in front of a noun. For example, you could say the following to talk about a black car:

검정색 자동차 (geomjeongsaek jadongcha)

a black car

검은색 자동차 (geomeunsaek jadongcha)

a black car

까만색 자동차 (kkamansaek jadongcha)

a black car

How to Say Blue in Korean

The two most common ways of saying the color blue in Korean are 파란색 (paransaek) and 푸른색 (pureunsaek). You can also use and 하늘색 (haneulsaek) for sky blue.

For example:

파란색 하늘 (paransaek haneul)

a blue sky

푸른색 하늘 (pureunsaek haneul)

a blue sky

하늘색 하늘 (haneulsaek haneul)

a sky blue sky

Example sentences

Here are several example sentences using the colors in Korean. The color words are used in different ways to give you some variety and practice.

오늘 내 하얀 드레스를 입을 거예요. (oneul nae hayan deureseureul ibeulgeoeyo)

I will wear my white dress today.

 

그 보라색 가방이 제꺼예요. (geu borasaek gabangi jekkeoeyo)

That purple bag is mine.

 

제가 제일 좋아하는 색은 노란색이에요. (jega jeil joahaneun saegeun noransaegieyo)

My favorite color is yellow.

 

제일 좋아하는 색은 뭐예요? (jeil johahaneun saekeun mwoyeyo?)

What’s your favorite color?

 

그녀는 검정색 옷만 입어요. (geunyeoneun geomjeongsaek otman ibeoyo.)

That girl only wears black clothes.

 

다음에 내 머리를 무슨 색깔로 염색할까? (daeume nae meorireul museun saekkkallo yeomsaekhalkka?)

Which color should I dye my hair next?

 

내 새로운 자동차는 파란색이야. (nae saeroun jadongchaneun pharansaekiya.)

My new car is blue.

 

You may want to use these example sentences using the colors in Korean along with common Korean phrases. Alternatively, they may be useful to help you better understand parts of Korean grammar, such as Korean particles and markers.

We hope we managed to pleasantly surprise you with this lesson, and you learned many new things about colors in Korean! Now it’s time to try your newfound color skills.

So, tell us: What are your favorite colors in Korean? Are they blue and red? Brown, green, and orange? Or maybe you like gray and pink! Let us know in the comments below, and try to use the colors in Korean to make a sentence if you can!

    6 replies to "Colors in Korean: Complete list with audio & usage examples"

    • Avatar for Shen Shen

      Hello, how do you pronounce “의”?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Shen! “의” is usually pronounced as “에” if it comes after a noun (e.g. 나의 집 [나에 집]). It’s pronounced as “으이” in words like “의사” (doctor). ^^

    • Avatar for Nataly khan Nataly khan

      I am a little confuse because when i am using the korean dictionary i would see that one colour have more than one name for example. 붉 은 , 빨 칸색, 빨 캉 and 빨칸. These are all the names i found for the colour red

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Good point, Nataly! It can be hard to differentiate the different color descriptions in Korean! The standard red is ‘빨강’ or ‘빨간색’. ^^

    • Avatar for Lola Wright Lola Wright

      So when I’m telling you what my favorite colors are, should I add ‘색’ to it? I’m a little confused as to when I should add ‘색’ to it, and when I shouldn’t. (I recently learned there are times you use it, and times you don’t.)

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Good question! It’s okay to omit ‘색’, but usually it’s better to say ‘–색’. For example, 나는 분홍색이 좋아 = 나는 분홍이 좋아 (I like pink.) ^^

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