15 Spanish Expressions with Colours


Did you know that Spaniards use a lot of expressions with colours? Do you want to be able to understand native speakers when they use them? Do you want to improve your vocabulary and sound more natural in Spanish?

Don’t worry, I’ll help you!

In today’s post, I’ll teach you 15 Spanish Expressions with Colours to sound more natural in Spanish.

My mission is to help you reduce those negative thoughts you have when you speak Spanish. For example, I’m sure you’ve thought things like “I sound robotic”, “I don’t feel like I’m myself speaking Spanish”, “I feel limited”, and “I don’t think I connect with Spanish speakers”.

As always, I’ll include literal meanings, real meanings and examples to make everything easier.


Ready to level up your Spanish colloquial vocabulary?


1)Ponerse rojo como un tomate (literal meaning: to turn red like a tomato, real: to be ashamed, blushed). In this expression, we only change the verb (se puso, se pondrá…) and “rojo” to suit the gender (rojo/a).

Carlos se puso rojo como un tomate cuando le preguntamos si María era su novia.


2) Ponerse morado (literal meaning: to turn purple, real meaning: to eat a lot). We change the verb (nos pondremos, se pusieron) and “morado” to suit the gender (morado/a).

En la cena de Nochevieja nos pusimos morados. Comimos jamón, gambas, queso, ternera, pescado… ¡Vaya banquete!


3) Ponerse verde de envidia (literal meaning: to turn green of envy / real meaning: to get really jealous or envious). We only change the verb!

Cuando Javier supo que Daniel había comprado un coche y una casa en 2020, Javier se puso verde de envidia. Siempre ha habido mucha rivalidad entre ellos.


4) Estar verde (literal meaning: to be green / real meaning: to be unexperienced). We only change the verb!

El nuevo compañero de trabajo está muy muy verde. Casi no sabe hacer nada… Tendremos que enseñarle.


5) Ser un viejo verde (real meaning: to be a green old man / real meaning: to be a dirty old man). We only change the verb again. And, to be honest, this is very rarely used to talk about women.  

Mi vecino es un viejo verde; siempre está mirando a las adolescentes que pasan por la calle y nadie le dice nada.


6) Dar luz verde a algo (literal meaning: to give green light / real meaning: to approve a plan or suggestion). Again, we only change the verb.

Mi padre nos dio luz verde para ir de viaje por el norte de España durante las vacaciones.


7) Ser más raro que un perro verde (literal meaning: to be rarer than a green dog / real meaning: to be really rare, uncommon). We change the verb and “raro” to suit the gender (raro/a).

Mi hermano es más raro que un perro verde. Tiene 16 años y dice que no quiere jugar a videojuegos porque son inútiles.


8) Poner verde a alguien (literal meaning: to make someone green / real meaning: to criticise someone). We only change the verb.

El otro día escuché a mi mejor amiga poniéndome verde con otra amiga. Me siento traicionada.


9) Quedarse en blanco (literal meaning: to remain in white / real meaning: to forget what you were going to say). Again, we only change the verb.

El otro día estaba haciendo mi presentación en clase y, de pronto, me quedé en blanco. No pude seguir. Qué vergüenza.


10) Comerse un marrón (literal meaning: to eat something brown / real meaning: to face a problem). You’ll only need to change the reflexive verb.

Cuando hay un problema en la oficina, los compañeros con menos experiencia siempre se comen el marrón. Siento pena por ellos.


11) Tener la negra (literal meaning: to have the black / real meaning: to have bad luck). We only change the verb.

Siempre que participamos en la lotería, no ganamos nada. Yo creo que tenemos la negra.


12) Verlo todo de color de rosa (literal meaning: to see everything pink / real meaning: to be positive and see no problems or obstacle). Similarly, we only change the verb.

María es un poco ingenua. Siempre lo ve todo de color de rosa y luego se sorprende de que las cosas sean muy diferentes o no pasen como ella creía.


13) Verlo todo negro (literal meaning: to see everything black / real meaning: to be pessimistic). Again, we only change the verb, but you can add “muy” too before “negro”.

Después del que año que hemos tenido, lo veo todo muy negro: no podemos ver a la familia, no podemos viajar, no podemos ir al gimnasio…


14) Encontrar tu media naranja (literal meaning: to find your half orange / real meaning: to find your soulmate). We only change the verb.

Nunca pensé que encontraría mi media naranja en mi viaje a Madrid. ¡Nos conocimos en una churrería y dos meses después ya éramos novios!


15) Ser el blanco de algo (literal meaning: to be the white of something / real meaning: to be the target). We only change the verb and then add the situation of which someone is a target.

Cuando me pongo mis botas de cowboy siempre soy el blanco de todas las miradas. Creo que les parezco muy raro.



Now you know how to enrich your vocabulary with colourful Spanish expressions to sound like a Spaniard.

You can either try to use them with friends or revise them from time to time, since you’ll probably hear native speakers say them at some point.

You may have noticed at this point that colours can mean different things in different cultures. These Spanish expressions are useful to understand how Spaniards perceive colours.

If you live in Europe, colour associations may not be that different, but this changes if you’re in other continents.  

I hope you found these expressions useful and use them from now on! Any questions? Just leave a comment.

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Now, let’s practise: write a few sentences with these expressions to remember them! I’ll correct you, don’t worry.  

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