Common Chinese characters

Here are all the characters that we describe in detail - more will be added soon. The remainder can be found in our online dictionary. They are ordered by the normal pinyin pronunciation in Mandarin.

A

á (what?) ǎi (low) ài (love) ān (peace) àn (bank) ǎo (jacket) ào (bay)

B

bā (eight) bā (to long for) bā (supposition or suggestion) bǎ (to hold) bà (father) bái (bright) bǎi (hundred) bǎn (board) bǎn (a register) bàn (half) bàn (to act) bāo (to cover) bǎo (jewel) bǎo (to eat till full) bào (to announce) bào (to hold) bēi (cup) běi (north) bèi (shell) běn (root) bǐ (pen) bié (to leave) bīng (ice) bīng (ice) bǐng (third in order) bǐng (both) bǔ (divination) bù (no; not) bù (a step)

C

cǎi (color) cài (vegetable) cǎo (grass) cǎo (grass) céng (once) chá (tea) chāng (prosperous) cháng (long) cháng (always) chǎng (cliff) chàng (to sing) chàng (to initiate) chē (vehicle) chéng (to succeed) chéng (city walls) chī (to eat) 齿 chǐ (tooth) chì (step) chóng (duplicate) chóng (insect) chóu (silk) chǒu (shameful) chū (go out) chū (at first) chuān (river) chuán (boat) chūn (spring) chuò (walking) cí (porcelain) cǐ (this) cōng (quick at hearing) cóng (from) cùn (unit of length)

D

dà (big) dāi (bad) dài (replace) dài (to respect) dān (to undertake) dǎn (the gall) dàn (birth) dàn (dawn) dàn (but) dāng (to be) dāo (knife) dǎo (fall) dǎo (island) dào (arrive) dào (road) de (of) dé (get) dé (virtue) děng (wait) dì (supreme ruler) dì (earth) dì (younger brother) dì (ordinal (1st,2nd)) diǎn (spot) diàn (inn) dīng (nail) dìng (to set) dìng (how) dōng (east) dōng (winter) dǒng (to understand) dòng (to use) dōu (all) dǒu (unit of weight) duì (right) duì (to cash) dùn (shield) duō (many)
How to write Chinese characters

How to write Chinese characters

Language

Many Chinese spend a great deal of time studying calligraphy. To be able to write (or more accurately draw) Chinese characters requires lots of practise as well as knowing both the brush strokes and the order in which to make them.

E

è (evil) ér (child) ér (legs) ér (as well as) ěr (ear) ěr (thus) èr (two)

F

fā (to send out) fǎ (law) fà (hair) fǎn (contrary) fàn (food) fāng (square) fáng (house) fáng (to protect) 访 fǎng (to visit) fǎng (fine woven silk fabric) 仿 fǎng (to imitate) fàng (let go) fēi (fly) fēi (coffee) fēi (to not be) fěi (bandit) fēn (divide) fēn (numerous) fèn (portion) fēng (wind) fēng (to confer) fèng (phoenix) fū (husband) fú (blessing) fú (good fortune) fú (not) fù (woman) fù (father) fù (rich) fù ('left ear') fù (place)

G

gān (pleasant) gān (liver) gān (pole) gǎn (to overtake) gàn (do) gāng (ridge) gāng (hard) gāng (guiding principle) gǎng (harbor) gǎng (harbor) gāo (tall) gǎo (to do) 稿 gǎo (manuscript) gào (to tell) gē (spear) gē (elder brother) gē (song) gé (animal hide) gè ('of') gè (each) gěi (give) gēn (heel) gèn (stubborn) gèng (more) gōng (work) gōng (palace) gōng (public) gōng (accomplishment) gōng (bow) gōng (to provide) gǒng (two hands) gòng (common) gǒu (dog) gòu (to reach) gū (paternal aunt) gū (estimate) gǔ (ancient) gǔ (valley) gù (happening) gù (hard) guài (decisive) guān (shut) guān (official) guǎn (building) guāng (light) 广 guǎng (vast) guī (to return) guī (tortoise) guī (jade tablet) guǐ (ghost) guì (precious) gǔn (line) guō (pot) guó (country) guò (past)

H

hāi (sound of sighing) hái (still) hái (child) hǎi (sea) hài (12th earthly branch) hán (cold) hàn (chinese) hàn (perspiration) hǎo (good) hào (name) hē (drink) hé (river) hé (together) hé (grain) hé (what) hé (to close) hé (why) hēi (black) hěn (very) hēng (prosperous) hóng (red) hóng (flood) hòu (behind) hòu (wait) hū (at) hú (lake) hǔ (tiger) hù (door) hù (door) huā (flower) huá (splendid) huà (speech) huà (to make into) huà (to draw) huān (merry) huáng (emperor) huáng (yellow) huī (emblem) huí (to circle) huì (can) huǒ (fire) huǒ (fire (as radical)) huò (maybe)

J

jī (starve) jī (fowl) jī (machine) jí (lucky) jí (and) jǐ (how many) jǐ (self) jì (border) jì (already) jì (season) jì (order) jì (to record) jì (skill) jiā (house) jiǎ (first in list) jiān (narrow) jiān (difficult) jiǎn (scissors) jiàn (healthy) jiàn (see) jiàn (to establish) jiàn (gap) jiàn (arrow) jiāng (river) jiāng (border) jiāo (to teach) jiāo (to hand over) jiāo (suburbs) jiāo (to glue) jiǎo (horn) jiǎo (dumpling) jiào (called) jiào (religion) jiào (comparatively) jiē (street) jié (joint) jié (seal (of document)) jié (knot) jiě (elder sister) jīn (ferry crossing) jīn (metal) jīn (modern) jīn (axe) jīn (scarf) jīn (metal) jìn (near) jìn (to advance) jīng (capital) jīng (refined) jīng (Classic) jīng (to start) jīng (eye) jǐng (well) jǐng (bright) jiōng (covering box) jiǔ (nine) jiǔ (wine) jiǔ (long time) jiù (fault) jiù (at once) jiù (old) jú (tangerine) jù (sentence) jūn (monarch)

K

kā (coffee) kāi (begin) kān (to print) kǎn (open box) kàn (look) kě (can) kè (to be able to) kè (customer) kǒng (great) kǒu (mouth) kǔ (bitter) kuài (chopsticks) kuài (piece)

L

lái (arrive) lán (blue) láo (to toil) lǎo (venerable) lǎo (old) le ('completed') lè (music) léi (thunder) lèi (tired) lí (Fire) lǐ (inside) lǐ (ceremony) lǐ (texture) lǐ (plum) lì (strength) lì (stand) lì (sharp) lì (strict) lì (beautiful) lì (to experience) lián (to pity) liáng (good) liǎng (pair) liàng (collective word for vehicles) liáo (distant) lín (forest) lín (neighbor) líng (zero) líng (mound) líng (age) lǐng (neck) lìng (other) lìng (to order) liù (six) lóng (dragon) lóu (multi-story building) 绿 lù (green) lù (road)

M

mā (mother) mǎ (horse) mǎ (?) mǎi (buy) mài (sell) mǎn (to fill) máng (busy) māo (cat) máo (hair) mào (to emit) mào (hat) me (what) méi (have not) měi (beautiful) mèi (younger sister) mén (entrance) mén (s) měng (Mongol) mí (to bewilder) mí (riddle) mǐ (rice) mì (cover) mián (roof) miǎn (to escape) miè (to extinguish) mín (people) mǐn (dish) míng (bright) míng (name) mìng (life) mò (do not) mǔ (mother) mǔ (area) mù (wood) mù (eye)

N

nà (that) nǎi (milk) nǎi (to be) nán (south) nán (male) nán (difficult) ne (and you?) nèi (inner) néng (to be able to) nǐ (you) nián (year) 廿 niàn (twenty) niàn (to read) niǎo (bird) nín (you (polite)) nìng (better) niú (ox) nǚ (woman) nǚ (female)

P

pá (to crawl) pà (to be afraid) pàn (to hope for) pào (bubble) pào (cannon) pén (basin) péng (friend) pí (hops) pǐ (bolt of cloth) piàn (thin piece) piào (ticket) pín (poor) píng (flat) píng (bottle) pú (grape) pǔ (general) pù (store)
Chinese Poetry

Chinese Poetry

Language

The Chinese language is ideally suited for writing poems. The long history of Chinese has allowed poems written over two thousand years ago to be appreciated even today. The characters provide a concise method for conveying impressions and emotion.

Q

qī (seven) qī (phase) qí (board game) qí (his) qí (strange) qǐ (to rise) qì (gas) qì (steam) qiān (thousand) qián (money) qián (front) qiǎn (shallow) qiàn (yawn) qiě (and) qīn (parent) qín (Qin) qīng (green) qīng (clear) qíng (affection) qíng (clear sky) qǐng (please) qìng (celebrate) qiú (autumn) qǔ (to take) qù (go) quán (all) quán (spring) quǎn (dog) quǎn (dog) qún (group)

R

r (r) rén (person) rén (humane) rì (sun) róng (to hold) ròu (meat) ròu (meat) rú (as) rù (to enter) rùn (leap)

S

sān (three) sè (colour) shān (mountain) shān (bristle) shǎng (to hand down) shàng (up) shàng (still) sháo (spoon) shǎo (less) shé (tongue) shè (to shoot) shè (residence) shéi (who) shēn (body) shēn (to extend) shén (god) shén (what) shēng (produce) shèng (holy) shī (lion) shī (to lose) shī (corpse) shí (ten) shí (time) shí (rock) shí (real) shí (food) shí (eat) shǐ (history) shǐ (to begin) shǐ (arrow) shǐ (pig) shì (is) shì (matter) shì (market) shì (life) shì (spirit) shì (bachelor) shì (clan name) shì (to show) shǒu (hand) shǒu (hand) shǒu (head) shòu (to receive) shū (book) shū (spear) shǔ (heat) shǔ (office) shù (tree) shuāng (pair) shuǐ (water) shuǐ (water) shuì (taxes) shùn (to obey) shuō (to speak) sī (silk) sī (private) sī (silk) sī (to think) sǐ (die) sì (four) sì (snake) sì (to run) song (Song) sū (revive) sù (respectful) sù (to complain) suàn (calculate) suī (although) suī (rap) suí (Sui) suì (year) sūn (grandson) suǒ (actually)

T

tā (he) tā (she) tā (it) tái (typhoon) tài (too) táng (Tang) táng (sugar) tǎng (to recline) tàng (collective for trips) táo (grapes) tiān (sky) tián (field) tiē (to stick) tīng (to listen) tōng (open) tóng (same) tóng (boy servant) tóu (head) tóu (head) tǔ (earth) tù (rabbit)

W

wǎ (tile) wài (outside) wān (bowl) wán (toy) wǎn (evening) wàn (ten thousand) wāng (lame) wáng (to die) wǎng (monarch) wǎng (net) wéi (proud) wéi (to preserve) wèi (do) wèi (not yet) wèi (position) wén (script) wén (to hear) wèn (ask) wǒ (I (me)) wò (lie) wū (crow) wū (house) wú (not to have) wǔ (five) wǔ (noon) wǔ (martial) wù (do not) wù (fifth (ordinal))
The Chinese Language

The Chinese Language

Language

An introduction to get you started with spoken and written Chinese. Explains key concepts and starts with the most common and useful words and phrases in Chinese.

X

西 xī (west) xī (sunset) xí (to practice) xǐ (box; bag) xǐ (to be fond of) xì (system) xià (summer) xià (down) xiān (fresh) xiān (first) xián (to stay idle) xiǎn (danger) xiàn (to appear) xiāng (fragrant) xiāng (each other) xiāng (countryside) xiǎng (to think) xiàng (elephant) xiǎo (small) xiào (smile) xiào (filial piety or obedience) xiào (school) xiào (effect) xiē (some) xiě (write) xiè (thanks) xīn (new) xīn (heart) xīn (hard) xīn (heart) xīng (star) xīng (prosper) xíng (permitted) xìng (surname) xìng (fortunate) xiōng (elder brother) xù (beginnings) xué (study) xué (cave) xué (narrow) xuě (snow)

Y

yán (face) yán (words) yán (words) yāng (center) yáng (yang) yáng (sheep) yāo (youngest) yǎo (to bite) yào (want) yě (also) yè (night) yè (page) yī (one) yī (doctor) yī (clothes) yí (proper) yǐ (hidden) yǐ (to use) yǐ (chair) yǐ (already) yì (easy) 亿 yì (100,000,000) yì (justice) yì (also) yì (city) yì (catch) yì (skill) yì (to recollect) yì (idea) yì (different) yīn (yin) yīn (sound) yǐn (to drink) yīng (flower) yíng (welcome) yǒng (perpetual) yòng (to use) yóu (outstanding) yǒu (friend) yǒu (have) yǒu (wine vessel) yòu (right) yòu (also) yú (fish) yú (fishing) yú (in) yǔ (rain) yǔ (language) yǔ (to give) yù (jade) yuán (primary) yuán (former) yuán (park) yuǎn (far) yuàn (courtyard) yuàn (to hope) yuē (to speak) yuè (moon) yún (cloud) yùn (to move)

Z

zāi (disaster) zài (again) zài (exist) zài (to carry) zàng (treasury) zǎo (early) zé (pool) zhà (at first) zhà (to explode) zhān (to observe) zhān (to glue) zhàn (station) zhàn (to fight) zhāng ('of') zhǎng (palm of the hand) zhāo (dynasty) zhǎo (to try to find) zhě (in process of) zhè (this) zhēn (chaste) zhēn (really) zhèn (Wood) zhēng (journey) zhèng (correct) zhī (prop up) zhī (one) zhī (him) zhī (to know) zhī (to support) zhī (branch) zhí (straight) zhí (value) zhí (to plant) zhǐ (paper) zhǐ (to stop) zhì (aspiration) zhì (to arrive) zhì (to rule) zhì (to send) zhì (to install) zhōng (centre) zhōng (clock) zhǒng (kind of) zhòng (many) zhòng (heavy) zhōu (region) zhōu (prefecture) zhōu (surname Zhou) zhōu (boat) zhū (hog) zhú (bamboo) zhú (bamboo) zhǔ (dot) zhǔ (owner) zhǔ (to cook) zhù (to live) zhù (to halt) zhuǎ (claw) zhuǎ (claw) zhuàn (biography) zhuī (short-tailed bird) zhuō (table) zǐ (child) zì (from) zì (letter) zǒu (walk) zū (to hire) zú (clan) zú (foot) zǔ (grandfather) zǔ (to form) zǔ (to hinder) zuān (to drill) zuì (most) zuó (previous) zuǒ (left) zuò (seat) zuò (sit) zuò (to do)
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Citation information: Chinasage, 'Common Chinese Character Dictionary', last updated 2 Dec 2016, Web, http://www.chinasage.info/chars/charindex.htm.

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