English as a Second Language/Difference


Dear Shannon,

What is the difference between:

(1) The red colour and the colour red
(2) The golden number the number golden

Best regards,
Antoine Ghannoum

It all has to do with emphasis.

I like the colour red.  (Here you are making "red" the object of the sentence.  "Color" is used as a modifier.  It is a fancy way of saying, "I like red (out of all other colors)).

I like the red colour.  (Here, you must have been choosing between a limited selection of colors of something, for example a shirt.  It is like saying, "I like the red one.")

In #2, only the first one is correct.  The second one might be seen, but only in poetry.

English as a Second Language

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Shannon Cole


I can answer questions related to learning the English and Spanish language.


I have taught ESL and Spanish since 1998 at the university and middle school levels. I am a native of the U.S., and have taught in both the U.S. and Mexico.

I am owner and operator of www.coleinstitute.com, an online language school.

Georgia TESOL in Action (1999)

B.A. in Spanish; M.Ed. in Language Education

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I have clients worldwide, some who want their documents proofread, and others who take lessons with me through the Internet. Some work at high-profile companies and government organizations. Besides the U.S. and Mexico, my recent students come from South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Colombia, Russia, Italy, Paraguay, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.

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