Today you will not only learn how to say the color blue in Spanish. But you will also learn how to say the colors light blue in Spanish, as well as how to say navy blue in Spanish.

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Yesterday, I met an American who was here visiting Medellin. Let’s say that his name is Mark (not his real name).

How To Say Blue in Spanish

I was with a Colombian friend and we had just bought lunch from a street vendor. The lunch consisted of:

1. carne asada (grilled meat)2. arepa (Colombia’s version of a tortilla) con mantequilla (butter)

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3. quesito (very soft Colombian cheese)

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4. Manzana (apple-flavored Colombian soft drink)

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Mark was also having lunch from the same street vendor. He spoke Spanish very well. He even spoke to my Colombian friend in Spanish the whole time. But he made one very common mistake with his Spanish . . .

We were talking about some of the things that make “extranjeros” (foreigners) stand out in Medellin. And Mark pointed to his navy blue New York Yankees cap and said, “Por ejemplo, mi gorra azul oscura.”

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Did you notice the mistake that Mark made? Don’t worry if you did not notice it. It is a very common mistake that English speakers make when speaking Spanish.

In general, colors agree with the nouns they modify:

pantalones azules – blue pantscamiseta roja – red tee-shirtvestido negro – black dress

However, when colors are modified by additional adjectives as in the case of navy blue, light green, dark red or bright yellow, etc. the color’s adjective becomes *invariable.* In other words, in this case colors do not change to agree with the noun.

For example, “pantalones azules” (blue pants), but “pantalones azul marino” (navy blue pants).

“Una sandalia roja,” (a red sandal) but “una sandalia rojo oscuro” (a dark red sandal).

“Los zapatos verdes,” (the green shoes) but “los zapatos verde claro” (the light green shoes).

“pantalones azules” (blue pants), but “pantalones azul claro” (light blue pants).

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So in that case, Mark should have said “mi gorra azul” (my blue cap) or “mi gorra azul oscuro” (my dark blue cap).