written by: Sujanti Djuanda
• edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch
• updated: 10/14/2013
In Chinese, both ancient and modern, several words exist that mean "nature." Learn about the Chinese word for nature, such as 自然 【zìrán= nature】and 大自然 【dàzìrán=nature】, and see examples of how they are used.
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Ancient China did not have a specific term for "nature," but had many terms with interrelated meanings, such as 天 【tiān=heaven, nature (as the whole of the universe)】, 天地 【tiāndì= heaven and earth】, and 大块 【dàkuài=the great expanse】. 天 【tiān= nature (as the whole of the universe)】 was the most frequently used.
Now, Chinese uses 自然 【zìrán= nature (noun), naturally (adjective)】 as the Chinese word for nature, though sometimes 大自然 【dàzìrán=nature】 is more precise. 大自然 【dàzìrán】 can also be translated as "mother nature," "all of nature," or "the great nature," whereas 自然 【zìrán】 can also be translated as "the natural world," the same meaning as 自然界 【zì rán jiè= the natural world】.
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The Use of 自然 【zìrán】 or 大自然 【dàzìrán】
a. 自然 【zìrán=nature】or 大自然 【dàzìrán=nature】 as a noun.
冷 【lěng=cold】 and 热 【rè=hot】are often used as an adjective for something that you can feel as physical reaction such as weather. 冰 【bīng=icy cold】 is used as an adjective for the object that is very cold to the touch such as snow.