One of the most difficult part 2 questions for IELTS for Sept-Dec 2019 is to describe a colourful event. The most common problem that my students have struggled from is a lack of synonyms or collocations to talk about colour or the colourful event. This list will help you to expand your IELTS colour vocabulary, please be careful and check the exact meaning of each word before using it in your exam.


Synonyms of Colour

1) Shade-A particular form of a colour, especially when describing how light or dark it is

Sky blue is a shade of blue  

2) Hue (literary or technical) a colour or a particular shade of a colour. His face took on an unhealthy, whitish hue. 

3) Tint-a shade or small amount of a particular colour, a faint colour covering a surface. Leaves with red and gold autumn tints.

4) Tinge-a small amount of a colour: There was a pink tinge to the sky

Tint or Tinge 

You can say: a reddish tint/tinge or: a tinge of red but not a tint of red. 

Tint is often used in the plural

Tinge is almost always singular 

Collocations to Use with Colour/Shade/Hue or Tint

A warm/rich colour/shade/hue/tint

A bright/vivid/vibrant/dark/deep colour/shade/hue

A pale/pastel/soft/subtle/delicate colour/shade/hue

A light/strong/neutral/natural colour/shade

Synonyms of Colourful 

1) Brightly coloured, bright-coloured

2) Brilliant 

3) Vivid 

4) Rich 

5) Multicoloured

6) Gaudy

7) Vibrant

8) Lively 

9) Dramatic 

10) Picturesque 


Collocations with Colour (All adjectives in the same line have a similar meaning) 


-Bold, bright, brilliant, glowing, iridescent, vibrant, vivid 

 -Dark, deep
-Intense, lush, rich, strong
-Faded, light, muted, pale, pastel, soft, subdued, subtle 
– Garish, gaudy, loud, lurid
-Autumn, autumnal, earthy, fall
-Attractive, beautiful, lovely,
-Complementary, Matching 
 Blue, red etc   
Bluish, reddish etc

……Of Colour 

 A dash/flash/splash/spot/touch  Full 

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