chinese characters

Chinese characters, also known as hanji, are the logical scripts used in written Chinese. They are one of the oldest writing systems in the world and have been in use for thousands of years. Chinese characters are made up of strokes that are combined to form different characters, each representing a particular word, concept or idea.

One of the unique features of Chinese characters is their pictorial nature. Many characterizations are derived from simplified representations of objects or natural phenomena. For example, the character for "sun" (日) resembles a circle with a dot in the middle, while the character for "tree" (木) resembles the shape of a tree.

Unlike most Western languages, Chinese characters are not based on an alphabet or phonetic system. Instead, each character represents a morpheme, which is a meaningful unit of language that cannot be divided further. This means that the pronunciation and meaning of a character are often not directly related. The same letter can be pronounced in different ways depending on the context of a word or sentence.

The complexity of Chinese characters lies in their vast number and complex structures. There are thousands of characters in active use, although a smaller set of characters is sufficient for daily communication. Learning Chinese characters requires memorizing and practicing to recognize and write them correctly.

Most common 100 chinese characters

Character pīnyīn English Meaning
hái Also, still
dōu All, both
些许 xiēxǔ Some, a few
zài At, in, on
可以 kěyǐ Can, may
dōu All, both
cái Only, just
学校 xuéxiào School
dàn But
xiǎo Small, little
de Possessive particle
le Indicates completion or change of state
huì To be able to, will
Big, large
问题 wèntí Question, problem
zhōng Middle, China
现在 xiànzài Now
还有 háiyǒu Also, furthermore
wèi For, to do
méi Not
shì To be
所以 suǒyǐ Therefore
电影 diànyǐng Movie
duì Correct, to
还是 háishì Or, still
To rise, to start
自己 zìjǐ Oneself
kàn To see, to look at
shuō To speak, to say
非常 fēicháng Very, extremely
yào To want, to need
He, him
nián Year
xiě To write
To use, by means of
chū To go out
知道 zhīdào To know
能够 nénggòu To be able to
年级 niánjí Grade, year of school
开始 kāishǐ To start, to begin
duō Many, much
zuò To do, to make
rén Person
zài At, in, on
Can, may
hǎo Good, well
然后 ránhòu Then, afterwards
néng Can, able to
I, me
huí To return
jiā Family, home
guó Country
其实 qíshí Actually, in fact
但是 dànshì But
已经 yǐjīng Already
yǒu To have, there is
miàn Face, side
tīng To listen, to hear
老师 lǎoshī Teacher
kāi To open
这样 zhèyàng Like this, such
因为 yīnwèi Because
工作 gōngzuò Work, job
hòu After, behind
shí Ten
xīn Heart, mind
时候 shíhòu Time, moment
cóng From
yòng To use
zhēn True, really
事情 shìqíng Thing, matter
shàng Above, on top
General measure word
zhè This
时代 shídài Era, age
当然 dāngrán Of course
zhe Indicates ongoing action or state
Inside, in
xiē Some, several
dāng To be, to act as
能够 nénggòu To be able to
shēng To be born, life
zhī Of, possessive particle
wán To play
jiù Just, then
To go
因为 yīnwèi Because
Must, to obtain
guò To pass, to go through
diàn Electricity
chéng To become
公司 gōngsī Company
shí Time
zuò To do, to make
xiǎng To think, to want