shuǐ water


Simplified representation of swirling water
Number of strokes 4


Index 85 used in: yǒng (perpetual) ; quán (spring)

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Sounds same

shuǐ (water)

Different tone

shuì (taxes)
Full character form of this simplified radical: shuǐ

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Sound file kindly provided by under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License

stroke order for 水
Stroke order for character 水, kindly provided under Wikimedia creative commons license


天水 Tianshui, Gansu


杯水车薪 bēi shuǐ chē xīn Put in insufficient effort into solving a problem
凡人不可貌相, 海水不可斗量 fán rén bù kě mào xiàng, hǎi shuǐ bù kě dòu liàng Judging by appearance is dangerous
覆水难收 fù shuǐ nán shōu What is done is done
镜花水月 jìng huā shuǐ yuè Beautiful but unattainable dreams. Unrealistic ambitions
千山万水 qiān shān wàn shuǐ A long and arduous journey
人不可貌相,海水不可斗量 rén bù kě mào xiàng, hǎi shuǐ bù kě dǒu liáng First appearances can be deceptive


水仙 shuǐ xiān narcissus

World upside down

When the Chinese invented the compass they chose south rather than north as the primary direction. In China it is called 指南针 'point south needle'. Compasses pointed south and for this reason maps showed south at the top rather than north. South was more important than north as it is the direction of the sun and hence all warmth and light. This convention has the advantage that the compass direction can be confirmed by the position of the sun at midday.
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