zǐ child; sage; seed


Picture of a baby in swaddling clothes
Number of strokes 3


Index 39 used in: hǎo (good) ; xué (study) ; kǒng (great) ; hēng (prosperous) ; jì (season) ; sūn (grandson) ; zì (letter) ; lǐ (plum) ; hái (child) ; xiào (filial piety or obedience)

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Different tone

zì (from) zì (letter)

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

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


孔子 Confucius
孟子 Mencius
老子 Lao Zi
庄子 Zhuangzi
墨子 Mozi


不入虎穴焉得虎子 bù rù hǔ xué yān dé hǔ zǐ Great rewards require a great risk
赐子千金不如教子一艺 cì zǐ qiān jīn bù rú jiào zǐ yī yì Learning a new skill will pay dividends in the future
虎父无犬子 hǔ fù wú quǎn zǐ A son is similar to his father
妻离子散 qī lí zǐ sàn A broken family
肉包子打狗 ròu bāo zǐ dǎ gǒu To use a self defeating method to solve a problem
兔子不吃窝边草 tù zi bù chī wō biān cǎo Thieves do not steal from neighbors


饺子 jiǎo zǐ dumplings
筷子 kuài zǐ chopsticks


茄子 qié zi aubergine
篮子 lán zi basket
胡子 hú zi beard
孩子 hái zi children
扇子 shàn zi fan
兔子 tù zi hare
老子 lǎo zǐ Laozi
燕子 yàn zi swallow
Chinese proverb


Bèn niǎo xiān fēi zǎo rù lín [ben niao xian fei zao ru lin]
stupid bird first fly early enter forest
A clumsy bird that flies first will get to the forest earlier
Starting early helps achieve success
The tortoise beats the hare. The early bird catches the worm
China's name

China's name


Why do we call the country of China 'China'? It is not the name used by the Chinese people themselves. In fact there are a number of names used in the 'Middle Kingdom' that reflect the country's rich cultural and historic heritage.
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