Should you write ‘colour’ or should it be ‘color’? 

Both are correct. Colour is the British version while ‘color’ is American. Neither are wrong in themselves, but you might need to think about who you are writing for. Usually, I tell my EFL students to choose one version of the word and keep with that version consistently through any piece of work. I am British so I will stick with ‘colour’ for the rest of this article.

Colours and words associated with colour find their way into many English phrases and idioms. They occur in all sorts of themes that people might want to write or speak about in English. They are some of the first adjectives that children learn, and they find their way into book and film titles, songs and poems. Colours are also important in many other parts of the curriculum. 

Below we have compiled a quiz based entirely around colours. The questions have been differentiated to cater for all levels of English learners from beginners to quite advanced. A few may even tax the brains of teachers as well! The questions could be used as warmers or fillers; or they could be used to introduce or revise vocabulary. There are references to British and American literature and culture. For some of the more advanced questions students might need to do a little research. The answers are given at the end. Good luck!

Level A1/A2

  • Speak and spell these words;- Red Green Blue Yellow
  • Say these colours;- Red Green Blue Yellow
  • How do you spell the colour of lemons and bananas?
  • Give the English names of three green vegetables.
  • Which fairy-tale character was friends with seven dwarfs? 
  • What fruit has the same name as a colour?
  • What colour is your blood?
  • Which two colours appear on both the flags of Austria and Switzerland? 
  • How many different colours are there on the flags of Britain and France?
  • What colour do you get if you mix blue and red?
  • What colour was The Beatles’ Submarine?  
  • What colours are the Olympic rings?
  • What colour is associated with the planet Mars?
  • How are you feeling if you are feeling blue?
  • What is the most common human eye colour?

Level B1/B2

  • Rearrange the letters to find three similar colours (calli) (leviot) (leppur)
  • According to a proverb what colour lining does every cloud have?
  • What is the second largest river in China?
  • Which reptile has the ability to change its colour?
  • Here are the colours of the rainbow; which colour is missing? Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, ----- ,violet.
  • The White Album is a famous recording by which British group?
  • What colour do your cheeks turn when you blush?
  • Which country is known as The Emerald Isle?
  • Which colour is associated with envy and jealousy?
  • Who in 2012 gave birth to her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter? 
  • If you are feeling ‘browned off’ are you fed up and disappointed or are you feeling old and feeble?
  • Azure is a shade of which colour? 
  • If you want to have a wild party, what colour do you paint the town?
  • What colour are the black boxes carried on planes? 
  • What does black market mean?  

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Level C1/C2

  • What is the first colour a baby can distinguish? 
  • How many points do you get for potting a pink ball in snooker?
  • What colour does your skin turn if you are suffering from jaundice?
  • Which organs inside the eyes enable colour vision? 
  • What is the name of the spice that makes rice turn yellow?
  • What colour is produced by using the dye ‘woad’? 
  • Which chemical element gives turquoise its blue colour? 
  • Who wrote the book The Colour Purple?
  • Who directed the film version of The Colour Purple?
  • What is the name of the glass crystal device which splits white light into the colours of the spectrum?
  • What was the name of the horse Anna Sewel wrote about?
  • What two colours are sometimes used to describe oil?
  • By what name was Sir Percy Blakeney better known?
  • What type of peas can sing?
  • What gemstone is made of fossilized tree resin?

Answers

Level A1/A2

  • Speak and spell these words;- (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow)
  • Say these colours;- (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow)
  • How do you spell the colour of lemons and bananas? (Y-E-L-L-0-W)
  • Give the English names of three green vegetables. (e.g. Peas, Cucumber, Courgette, Cabbage, Broccoli)
  • Which fairy-tale character was friends with seven dwarfs? (Snow White) 
  • What fruit has the same name as a colour? (Orange)
  • What colour is your blood? (Red)
  • Which two colours appear on both the flags of Austria and Switzerland? (Red and White) 
  • How many different colours are there on the flags of Britain and France? (Three)
  • What colour do you get if you mix blue and red? (Purple)
  • What colour was The Beatles’ Submarine? (Yellow)  
  • What colours are the Olympic rings? (Blue, Black, Red, Yellow, Green)
  • What colour is associated with the planet Mars? (Red)
  • How are you feeling if you are feeling blue? (Sad/Depressed)
  • What is the most common human eye colour? (Brown)

Level B1/B2

  • Rearrange the letters to find three similar colours (calli - Lilac) (leviot - Violet) (leppur - Purple) 
  • According to a proverb what colour lining does every cloud have? (Silver)
  • What is the second largest river in China? (The Yellow River)
  • Which reptile has the ability to change its colour? (Chameleon)
  • Here are the colours of the rainbow; which colour is missing? Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, ----- ,violet. (Indigo)
  • The White Album is a famous recording by which British group? (The Beatles)
  • What colour do your cheeks turn when you blush? (Pink)
  • Which country is known as The Emerald Isle? (Ireland)
  • Which colour is associated with envy and jealousy? (Green)
  • Who in 2012 gave birth to her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter? (Beyoncé) 
  • If you are feeling ‘browned off’ are you fed up and disappointed or are you feeling old and feeble? (Fed up and disappointed)
  • Azure is a shade of which colour? (Blue)  
  • If you want to have a wild party, what colour do you paint the town? (Red)
  • What colour are the black boxes carried on planes? (Orange) 
  • What does black market mean? (Illegal market or trade)  

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Level C1/C2

  • What is the first colour a baby can distinguish? (Red)
  • How many points do you get for potting a pink ball in snooker? (Six)
  • What colour does your skin turn if you are suffering from jaundice? (Yellow)
  • Which organs inside the eyes enable colour vision? (Cones)
  • What is the name of the spice that makes rice turn yellow? (Saffron)
  • What colour is produced by using the dye ‘woad’? (Blue)
  • Which chemical element gives turquoise its blue colour? (Copper) 
  • Who wrote the book The Colour Purple? (Alice Walker)
  • Who directed the film version of The Colour Purple? (Steven Spielberg)
  • What is the name of the glass crystal device which splits white light into the colours of the spectrum? (Prism)
  • What was the name of the horse Anna Sewel wrote about? (Black Beauty)
  • What two colours are sometimes used to describe oil? (Black and Gold)
  • By what name was Sir Percy Blakeney better known? (The Scarlet Pimpernel)
  • What type of peas can sing? (Black Eyed Peas)
  • What gemstone is made of fossilized tree resin? (Amber)

We hope you and your EFL students enjoyed the quiz! 

Written by Larry Walder

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