For example:

English: This juice is purple.

日本語 1: このジュースは紫です。

日本語 2: このジュースは紫色です。

Does the kanji 色 need to be palced after colours?

From what I understand, sometimes the kanji 色 is necessary. For example, in 灰色, without the 色 kanji, it would just mean "ash", right? But, I don't get why 紫 needs to have 色 next to it.

  • 1
    While the answer to "has to be" is no, a better question might be to ask for some rationale, if any, why it used both ways. Some examples from alc and 紫色. – user3169 Jul 13 '18 at 4:03
  • 1
    @user3169 That's because むらさき is actually a name of a plant, thus, its color needed 色 at first, but later, referring to the color became by far more common than the original meaning. This is parallel to "pink". – user4092 Jul 14 '18 at 6:03

You don't need it because when you reply it, you have usually been talking about color. Even without that condition, you don't particularly need it, after all.

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