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In French, adjectives normally have to agree with the nouns they modify in gender and number.

However, there are numerous adjectives which don't agree - they have a single form that does not change to reflect the gender or number of the noun. These are called invariable adjectives. French color adjectives derived from nouns, such as animals, flowers, fruits, gems, and metals, are usually invariable: amarante amaranthine (dark purple-red) ardoise slate-grey argent silver aubergine eggplant auburn auburn brique brick-red canari canary yellow caramel caramel-colored carmin carmine cerise cherry red chair flesh-colored champagne champagne chocolat chocolate-brown citron lemon-yellow crme cream-colored emeraude emerald green grenat garnet indigo indigo kaki khaki lavande lavender lilas lilac marine navy blue marron brown noisette hazel ocre ochre olive olive-green or gold orange orange pastel pastel pervenche periwinkle pie (magpie) - piebald, black and white pistache pistachio-green platine platinum prune plum puce (flea) - puce rouille rust-colored rubis ruby red sable sandy, sand-colored safran saffron-colored saphir sapphire-blue saumon salmon-pink tabac tobacco brown turquoise turquoise vermillon vermilion


1) alezan (chestnut), fauve (tawny/fawn), incarnat(rosy), mauve, pourpre (crimson), rose (pink), andviolet are variable according to the normal rules of agreement 2) chtain (chestnut brown) is semi-invariable - it usually agrees in number, but rarely in gender

Multiple Colors When two or more colors describe a noun, they may or may not agree: 1) If there are items of each individual color, the adjectives agree: des drapeaux bleus, blancs, rouges - red, white, and blue flags (some are red, some are white, and some are blue) des chapeaux rouges et noirs - red and black hats (some are red and some are black) 2) If each item has all of the colors, the adjectives are invariable des drapeaux bleu, blanc, rouge - red, white, and blue flags (e.g., French flags) des chapeaux rouge et noir - red and black hats This is one instance where agreement is useful, because it gives you more detail than what is available in the English translation.

Compound Colors When adjectives of color are modified by another adjective or a noun, the adjectives are invariable: une jupe gris clair light gray skirt dark purple gloves reddish-orange color

des gants violet fonc

une couleur rouge-orange des yeux bleu-vert

blue-green eyes apple-green car tomato-red flowers

une voiture vert pomme des fleurs rouge tomate

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