When your favorite color is red, do you say,

I like the color red.


I like the red color.

Is there any difference of meaning between the two ways of saying about your favorite color?


4 Answers 4


"The red colour" is a fairly rare expression, but it can be used. It answers the question "which of the colours?", selecting one from a set of colours that is somehow already known: maybe the colours on a chart, or some colours that have already been talked about.

"The colour red" is much more common, and refers to a colour (really, a range of colours) chosen from all possible colours.

[I'm using the British spelling for 'colour']


"I like the colour red" implies you like red in general.

"I like the red colour" implies that you are liking a specific red colour - that it is an abbreviated phrase, e.g. of "I like the red colour [in this photograph]".


For the phrase as written, you should use the first one. Ideally, it means:

I like (the color) red.
I like red.

Wording like "red color" is usually used to describe a quality of something, and therefore would be used as an adjective like "red colored". For example:

I like the red colored fire engine. (The fire engine that is painted red)


I like the red colored candies. (The candies where red coloring was added)

  • Frankly, I would never say; I like the red-colored fire engine. It does not sound idiomatic.
    – Lambie
    Nov 14, 2016 at 13:49

The colour red.

Here, “red” is a noun. “Red” is a colour; it’s a ‘thing.’ It’s similar to saying:

The city Paris.

It’s also conceptual, we’re not talking about a colour we’re physically seeing.

The red colour.

Here, “red” is an adjective - we’re describing a colour we see as being red.

“The colour red” is therefore what you’d use to state your favourite colour. Also, if someone asks your favourite colour, it would be more idiomatic to just say:

I like red.

I.e. It’s not necessary to say “the colour”. You could even just say:


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