Pin Me

Chinese Characters - The Use of The Same Left Radical

written by: Sujanti Djuanda • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 10/14/2013

Beginner Chinese learners often have a hard time remembering difficult Chinese characters. Once you understand the meaning of Chinese radicals, in particular the same radical on the left, you will have a much easier time.

  • slide 1 of 7

    Here you can learn how to use Chinese character radicals of the left and right structured, such as 妈【mā=mother】which is formed by the radical on the left 女【nǚ=female】and the character 马【mǎ=horse】.

  • slide 2 of 7

    1. The Left Radicals 亻【rén】 , 女【nǚ】and孑【zǐ】

    a. As the radical on the left, 亻【rén】 is often used to describe anything that related to a person. For example:

    • 你【nǐ=you】
    • 他们【tāmen= they】
    • 像【xiàng= likeness (of somebody)】

    is

    b. As the radical on the left, 女【nǚ】is often used to describe anything that relates to a female. For example:

    • 她【tā=she】
    • 妈妈【māma=mother】
    • 姐姐【jiějie=older sister】

    c. As the radical on the left, 孑【zǐ】is often used to describe anything related to a child. For example:

  • slide 3 of 7

    2. The Left Radicals 忄【xīn】, 礻【shì】

    a. As the radical on the left, 忄【xīn】is often used to describe anything that relates to heart. For example:

    • 怪【guài= strange, odd】
    • 怕【pà= fear, dread】
    • 快【kuài= hurry up, happy】

    b. As the radical on the left, 礻【shì】is often used to describe anything that relates to spirit. For example:

  • slide 4 of 7

    3. The Left Radicals氵【shuǐ】 , 火【huǒ】and冫【bīng】

    a. As the radical on the left 氵【shuǐ】 is often used to describe anything related to water. For example:

    • 汤【tāng=hot water soup】
    • 浇水【jiāoshuǐ= watering】
    • 河【hé= river】

    b. As the radical on the left 火【huǒ】is often used to describe anything related to fire. For example:

    • 炒菜【chǎocài=stir-fry, sauté】
    • 烤【kǎo= bake, roast, toast】
    • 烟【yān= smoke】

    c. As the radical on the left, 冫【bīng】 is often used to describe anything related to ice. For example:

    • 冰【bīng=ice】
    • 冷【lěng= cold, frosty, cool】
  • slide 5 of 7

    4. The Left Radicals口【kǒu】, 扌【shǒu】, 足【zú】and目【mù】

    a. As the radical on the left, 口【kǒu】is often used to describe anything that related to mouth. For examples:

    • 唱【chàng=sing】
    • 叫【jiào=shout, call】
    • 吃【chī=eat】

    b. As the radical on the left, 扌【shǒu】 is often used to describe anything that related to hands. For examples:

    • 拍【pāi= clap】
    • 按【àn= press, push down】
    • 握手【wòshǒu= shake hands】

    c. As the radical on the left, 足【zú】is often used to describe anything that related to feet. For examples:

    • 跑【pǎo=run, escape】
    • 跳【tiào= jump, leap】
    • 跟【gēn=heel, follow】

    d. As the radical on the left, 目【mù】 is often used to describe anything that related to eyes. For examples:

    • 眼睛【yǎnjing=eye】

    • 眼眶【yǎnkuàng= eye socket】

    • 眯【mī= narrow (one's eyes)】

  • slide 6 of 7

    5. The Left Radicals 饣【shí】, 米【mǐ】and 木 【mù】

    a. As the radical on the left, 饣【shí】 is often used to describe anything that related to food. For examples:

    • 饭【fàn= cooked rice, meal】
    • 饼【bǐng= biscuit, a round flat cake】
    • 馒头【mántou=steamed bread】

    b. As the radical on the left, 米【mǐ】 is often used to describe anything that related to rice or seed. For examples:

    • 粮【liáng=grain】
    • 米粉【mǐfěn=powder】
    • 糯稻【nuòdào=glutinous rice】

    c. As the radical on the left, 木【mù】is often used to describe anything that related to tree or wood. For examples:

    • 树林【shùlín= grove】
    • 根【gēn= root of a plant】
  • slide 7 of 7

    6. The Left Radicals 犭【gǒu=dog】, 虫【chóng】and鱼 【yú】

    a. As the radical on the left, 犭【gǒu=dog】is often used to describe anything that relates to an animal. For example:

    • 狗【gǒu= dog】
    • 猫【māo=cat】
    • 猴子【hóuzi=monkey】

    b. As the radical on the left, 虫【chóng】is often used to describe anything that relates to an insect. For example:

    • 蝇【yíng=fly】
    • 蟋蟀【xīshuài=cricket】
    • 蜂【fēng= bee, wasp】

    c. As the Chinese character radical on the left, 鱼 【yú】is often used to describe anything that relates to fish. For example:

    • 鱿鱼【yóuyú= squid】
    • 鲵【ní= salamander】
    • 鲒【jié= oyster】

Search