Improve Your Vocabulary: 50+ Shades of Colors in English!

Published on November 29, 2016

Are your walls white, or eggshell white? Is your car blue, or electric blue? You already know your basic colors in English, now let’s take them to the next level! Today, you’ll learn the shades of colors. I’ll explain them and you’ll get to see them on screen. We mostly take these names from things around us, like foods, drinks, animals, and machines. This video is especially important if you’re buying paint, are interested in art, or work in any area of design. It’ll also help you communicate more clearly and fluently in English. Listen carefully and you’ll ace the quiz! What’s your favourite color? Tell me in the comments, and don’t just say ‘black’!


Hello. This is my car. It’s really old. I used to drive it when I was a very small, tiny baby. I’ve had this car for a long time. Let me ask you something. What colour is my car? If you said, mmm, like, I don’t know. Take a good look. What colour? Black and black here, and then like yellow or something. You are… You’re right, but mm-mm, that’s kind of wrong because there are not just yellows or blacks in the world of car paint anymore. So, if you’re looking to fix up an old car like this and make it your baby, make it beautiful, if you’re into reconditioning old cars, or if you’re into interior design, painting, painting your house a new colour, and you go to the paint store and you say: “Definitely I would like to have a blue living room”, the people that work at the paint store are going to do this: -“What colour blue?” -“Uh, blue. Maybe light blue, dark blue. That’s what I got, light blue, dark blue.” So what I’m going to teach you today is all about colours, but shades of colours and the super crazy names that we have for them, because it’s not just green anymore. My jacket, it’s not green. It’s kelly green, thank you. Mm-hmm. Sherry from Hong Kong, this lesson’s for you. Hi. I miss you. [Laughs] Cherry, Sherry, Sherry? Cherry! What colour do you think cherry is? What colour is a cherry? Red. So, let’s start off with red. Colours? These are names of colours, but we change them up, we play with them.

So, you guys know the colour red. Have you heard of the colour crimson? It means red. So, all of these ones are colour-coded to help you. If you’re colour-blind, good luck; everything’s kind of the same. So, how do we get these strange colours? We will name colours after food or drink. So, we’ve got crimson, we’ve gone wine-delicious-and another food is a cherry. Cherries and wine, they’re red. They’re different shades of red, but they’re still red. We also name colours after flowers. A geranium is a flower. Guess what colour it is? It’s red. It can be pink, too, but that’s okay. So, sometimes maybe you want to buy red paint, you go to the store and it’s called geranium or poppy. So, this just means red.

Moving right along. We have black. Now, black is not just black anymore. Black has changed to ebony, onyx-great band, by the way-raven… Raven’s a bird. So, we name colours after animals, food, and flowers. Sable, and then we have night shade. When I was younger I had a car that was night shade, so at nighttime it was black, but in the daylight it was not blue, navy. Cool car. Cool colour. Got dirty a lot. Night shade.

Next up, not just purple anymore. We have the flower of lavender, we have lilac, which is another flower. This is one of my favourites: mauve. Now, it looks like mowawu, mauve, but it’s actually mauve. We have plum, which is a food; violet, which is a flower; and amethyst, which is a type… A type of stone or a mineral. I was born in February, so my ring is an amethyst. It’s purple. Mm-hmm.

Moving right along, grey. We have ash, battleship-mm-hmm-dove. Did you know that doves and pigeons are the same? Mm-hmm. Except doves are white and grey. Oyster, delicious food. We have a stone, stone grey, good colour for your house. And we also have gun metal. So, gun metal, battleship. We’re getting some war themes going on in this paint.

Back to the fruits and veggies, we have orange. We have cantaloupe. Now, a cantaloupe is a fruit. The inside of the cantaloupe, it’s orange. Carrot, marigold. Marigold’s a flower. And we also have tangerine. It looks like an orange. It’s a little bit smaller than an orange. We also have the colour orange. No? Not funny yet?

Green, lots of food, lots of things in our… In nature are green. So we have one of my favourite, avocado, which is how you make guacamole. So, avocado is a darker green. Lime green. The inside of my fantabulous jacket is lime. The outside, kelly. We have this very, very crazy colour called chartreuse, that’s green. Jade. Have you watched Jade’s videos? Did you know that she’s not green at all? Jade is a type of stone. We have kelly. Hi, kelly. And we also have sage. Sage is a type of herb or a plant. It’s green. Mm-hmm. See how this is working out?

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