Is there any explanation for using indefinite article before color or is it wrong? I've encountered several sentences:

  1. The general colour of the wild-cat is a brindled grey, with black stripes.
  2. His hair is a light blue.
  3. The new plaster is light blue.
  • 2
    Suggested reading answer: "I hate red color" or "I hate red". – Damkerng T. Apr 13 '16 at 9:29
  • The only indefinite article noticed by me in "I hate red color" thread is for "a red color", where "a" is related to "color" word which is "singular noun". But in case of "light blue" I can't identify the "singular noun". – user1564855 Apr 13 '16 at 13:01
  • That's why I posted it as a suggested reading answer. There are many interesting answers and comments in that question. Note that any color can be an adjective or a noun, and when it's a noun, it can be used countably or uncountably, depending on context. It would be strange if, say, an artist told you that blue is always uncountable when he used lots of blues in his painting. – Damkerng T. Apr 13 '16 at 13:29
  • You can use any determiner before a color. Jo has his favorite blue and I have mine. That grey is better than a green. That is the darkest dark brown I've ever seen. The whale was this orangey brown yellowish pink. – Alan Carmack Apr 13 '16 at 14:12

There is no specific use of "a' with adjectives of colour.
"a" cannot be used with an adjective alone.
You say: it is a good car.
You say: it is good.
You cannot say: it is a good.

In your example sentences, 3 is correct, 2 is incorrect, as per above.

Sentence 1 is a specific use.
In 1, you would not use the article to say "the wild cat is grey".
In 1, "a" reports directly to the adjective "brindled", to indicate possible varations (brindle is a "brownish" colour that is not as clearly defined as "red" or "green").
This is not limited to colours:
- "the shape of this cloth is a rough square" (slightly undefined shape) but "the shape of this cloth is square" (clearly defined).
- "the film runs for an approximate two hours" (slightly undefined time) but "the film runs for two hours" (clearly defined).

  • Where can I read more about the case when a indefinite article reporting to an adjective? Is there any "key words" to google it? – user1564855 Apr 13 '16 at 10:45
  • 4
    I see nothing incorrect about #2. His hair is a specific blue, in this case a light blue. For example, here's someone saying that the Hope diamond glows a brilliant red, and here's a book saying that a particular flower is a deep blue – stangdon Apr 13 '16 at 12:06

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