I was wondering what the difference between these two similar ways of describing a noun is.

Its color is brown.


It is brown in color.

If they are both proper usage please explain to me which one is use more often. Thank you.

  • 3
    Why not make it easy for yourself and just say "It's brown"? Nov 8 '13 at 19:08
  • 3
    And not, notice, Its brown. Nov 8 '13 at 19:13
  • 1
    Notwithstanding all that, I think it should be pointed out that both your suggestions are grammatically correct, except that in the second example 'It's' should contain an apostrophe.
    – WS2
    Nov 8 '13 at 19:45
  • 1
    And the reason for that gratuitous inaudible apostrophe is that its in Its color is a possessive pronoun, whereas it's in It's brown is a contraction of it and the predicate adjective auxiliary verb is. They are two completely different grammatical constructions -- its color is a noun phrase, while it's brown is a clause; hence the apostrophe, in writing only. In speech, of course, their pronounced the same, and theirs never any problem, with or without the inaudible apo'strophe. Nov 8 '13 at 19:53
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    Nouns are best described with something like it starts with an 'e' and ends with a 't' and has an 'm' somewhere in the middle. If it's brown, it's probably an object. Nov 9 '13 at 17:01

Both sentences show redundancy. They are both grammatically correct, but it is not necessary to include "color".


I would say that "it is brown in color" puts emphasis on the thing itself, while "its color is brown" emphasizes the color.

I would use the first in a context where one wouldn't necessarily describe an object's color (a book's cover, for example), but the second where a reference to color would be expected (like cloth).

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