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I have read that the 是+...+的 structure is used for emphasis. I wonder in sentences describing colours like 这辆车是红色的, is the 是+...+的 structure used for emphasis too? What kind of 是+...+的 is this? Is 的 necessary in such sentences?

I really couldn't find much information about this kind of 是+...+的 structure. And I haven't found this structure except in sentences describing colours.

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As a native speaker, I consulted some grammar books and couldn't find an explanation for this example, so I'm speaking from my personal thinking.

The 是+...+的 structure is necessary in this sentence. I can't think of another way to express "This car is red." You can't say "这辆车红", and "这辆车很红" has a slightly different meaning.

Is this only for colors? No. I think it is only for "quality", for things that are either yes or no, not for things that have a degree. For example, you have to say "这辆车是国产的". You can't say "这辆车国产".

The difference between 是+adjective+的 and 很+adjective is that they answer different questions.

Is it red or not red? What color is it? It is red. 它是红的。

How red is it? It is very red 它很红。

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In Chinese, adjectives of quality such as 聪明(smart),漂亮(pretty),高兴(happy)and the various colour terms etc., when used in predicative construction, must be initialised with a certain value. These adjectives are associated with a compact semantic field which includes its complement as well: 聪明 ranges from "not so smart" to "vary smart". We simply cannot say *他聪明. We can say 他不聪明,他相当聪明,他很聪明, where 不,相当 or 很 serves to initialise the value (either negative or positive, because "neutral" is not a stable value).

Another way to initialise it with a certain value is to pre-build a class of occurrences and say this is an occurrence of that class: 这辆车是红色的,这本书是我的,这瓶啤酒是他买的。The construction 是...的 is the trace of an operation which indicates that we have a class of occurrences pre-built based on a term: 红色的 - a class of occurrences related to red; 我的 - a class of occurrence related to me ("what belongs to me"); 他买的 - a class of occurrences related to "what he bought".

Incidentally, this may help explain why in Chinese we say 我的车,他的房子,你的老师,我的朋友,but it is odd to say *我的爸爸 or *我的妈妈. In fact, a native speaker would most likely say 我爸爸 or 我妈妈, because we don't consider 爸爸 or 妈妈 as an occurrence among others in a class: they are unique.

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Consider this: 是(verb) + 红色(adj) + 的(adv).

Yes, "的" emphasizes the color "红色", it is considered a modifier when placed at the end of the sentence.

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这辆_车_是_红色的(车).

This car is a red (car). "红色的" is adj.

red, noun, 红色

red, adj, 红色的

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