How To Name And Pronounce Colors In Dutch (Pronunciation with Audio)

Learn the names of different colors in Dutch, including shades of color. Here are the names of the basic colors in Dutch:

donker*don kherdark
Zwart / Black
Wit / White
Rood / Red
Geel / Yellow
Blauw / Blue
Groen / Green
Oranje / Orange
Roze / Pink
Paars / Purple
Bruin / Brown
Grijs / Grey

*Licht and donker are added to the colors to mean light and dark: lichtblauw light blue

Usage of the colors in a sentence (adjectives)

Adjectives are words that describe characteristics of objects, people, and ideas. So colors are often used as an adjective.  

For example Het T-shirt is wit. 

Which means The T-shirt is white. In this sentence, “white” (adjective) describes the T-shirt (which is the noun).   


  1. Normally, the standard form of adjectives is used (wit)

Het T-shirt is wit. The T-shirt is white   (no -e because the adjective comes after the noun)

  1. However, when used in front of nouns, an “-e” needs to be added to the adjective:

Het witte T-shirt  The white T-shirt. (an -e is added because the adjective is in front of the noun)

  1. There is one exception to this rule:
    NO “-e” is added to the adjective in front of an “indefinite” “het” word.
    This means that if the noun you’re talking about is a “het” word and is used with “een” or no article at all, then the adjective does not get an “-e”.

Een wit T-shirt. A white T-shirt  (T-shirt is a “het” word; het T-shirt)

The Colors of the Dutch flag.

The colors of the Dutch flag are red, white, and blue (rood, wit, blauw). However, when you think about the Netherlands, it is often associated with the color orange (oranje). Dutch people wear orange (oranje) on days of national pride, and their sports teams’ uniforms are almost all a bright orange color.

It may seem strange, but there is some interesting history behind why the Dutch affectionate this particular color. 

Dutch history of the color orange

The orange obsession can be traced back to the very roots of the Netherlands: Orange is the color of the Dutch royal family. The lineage of the current dynasty—the House of Orange-Nassau—dates back to Willem van Oranje (William of Orange). Willem was the leader of the Dutch uprising against the Spanish domination over Holland. This led to Dutch independence in 1581. 

Perhaps the biggest exhibition of orange national pride appears on Koningsdag (King’s Day), the April 27 holiday commemorating the birthday of the country’s king. You will struggle to find a Dutch person who’s not wearing orange on this day. And on any royal birthday, the Dutch red, white, and blue flag is flown with orange banners attached. 

Do you want to learn, speak and read more Dutch?

Being able to name and pronounce the colors in Dutch will help you to get around and talk to and connect with Dutch people. People will appreciate that you are making an effort to speak Dutch. If you want to learn more common words and expressions, then please check out our other posts. 

If you are serious about learning Dutch and want to master the basics in a short amount of time, then check out our easy, fun, and fast Online Dutch course. While it can take you a while to learn a language by searching things on google and using apps, – with this comprehensive language course, it will just take you a couple of weeks to see some real progress in your abilities. You will be surprised at how quickly you will be able to talk in Dutch and leave a good impression!

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