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Colors in Russian and peculiarities of gender declension

Dear student,
Today we are going to deal with adjectives in the Russian language by the example of basic colors:

Название цвета Мужской род Женский род Средний род
БелЫЙ снег_
(white snow)
БелАЯ роза
(white rose)
БелОЕ пальто
(white overcoat)
КраснЫЙ шарф_
(red scarf)
КраснАЯ шапка
(red cap)
КраснОЕ небо
(red sky)
СинИЙ карандаш_
(blue pencil)
СинЯЯ ручка
(blue pen)
СинЕЕ море
(blue sea)
ЧёрнЫЙ хлеб_
(black bread)
ЧёрнАЯ рубашка
(black shirt)
ЧёрнОЕ поле
(black field)
ЖёлтЫЙ тюльпан_
(yellow tulip)
ЖёлтАЯ крыша
(yellow roof)
ЖёлтОЕ солнце
(yellow sun)
ЗелёнЫЙ сад_
(green garden)
ЗелёнАЯ занавеска
(green curtain)
ЗелёнОЕ кольцо
(green ring)
РозовЫЙ галстук_
(pink necktie)
РозовАЯ сумка
(pink bag)
РозовОЕ платье
(pink dress)

As the table shows, almost all colors have the ending "ЫЙ" in root form (1 column of table with color names) but you can notice one exception – blue color ("синий"). You should memorize gender declension of this adjective: when it combines with nouns of feminine and neuter genders, it acquires other endings which differ from other colors in this category: "синЯЯ and синЕЕ"

Женский род Средний род
СинЯЯ река
(blue river)
СинЕЕ облако
(blue cloud)
СинЯЯ ночь
(blue night)
СинЕЕ помещение
(blue apartment)
СинЯЯ книга
(blue book)
СинЕЕ полотенце
(blue towel)
СинЯЯ кровать
(blue bed)
СинЕЕ знамя
(blue flag)

In order to find out how to define gender of adjectives, first of all it is necessary to learn the rules of formation and gender declension of nouns, memorize endings (flexions) and exceptions, and then set an appropriate gender to an adjective.

In the end, practice colors and make up word-combinations, decline adjectives and nouns for genders:

  • Жёлт__ змей (yellow dragon)
  • Красн__ вино (red wine)
  • Черн__ стул (black chair)
  • Бел__ лицо (white face)
  • Зелён__ мазь (green ointment)
  • Фиолетов__шапка (violet cap)
  • Син__лампа (dark blue lamp)
  • Розов__ букет (pink bouquet)
  • Оранжев__кружево (orange lace)
  • Голуб__ пиджак (blue coat)

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