Composition of the characters
(Chinese radicals)

Look at the following characters:

Did you notice the factor they have in common? Look again:

The red part is called radical. Let us tell you what it is:

“Radical” in Chinese 部首; bùshǒu makes a reference to each of the 214 elements, in which the characters can be decomposed. When we start learning, we will realize that the characters can be divided into parts; some of them tell us about the relationship with tangible things such as water, wood, fire, human being, etc. and the other parts tell us how the characters sound.

In this post, we will look at some of the most common radicals when studying Mandarin.

We will start with the ¨él¨ character 他 tā and if we look at the left part of this character, we will find the person radical 人, which when transformed into a radical, changes and becomes more compact 亻.

On the other hand, the character of ¨ella¨ 她, tā, the left radical changes to 女,nǚ ¨woman¨ referring to the gender.

Below you will find a list with the most used radicals:


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