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Your Complete Chinese Radical Chart

Mastering Chinese may sound impossible, but it can be done if you have the right attitude toward learning and the most efficient methods. As you may know, studying root words in English is a proven effective way to build vocabulary as it gives you a foundation of many words’ meanings.

This article will introduce to you a similar method to apply in learning Chinese. That is learning radicals. So what are radicals, and how can they help you study Chinese? 

Read on to find out! 

What are Chinese radicals? 

Chinese radicals are the base, graphical components that form Chinese vocabulary. Basically, Chinese radicals and strokes form Chinese components; components form characters; characters make up Chinese words. To put it simply, radicals are the fundamental building blocks of the Chinese written language. 

Learn more about Chinese radicals: Top 8 Most Basic Chinese Radicals For Beginners.

How can radicals help you study Chinese? 

In general, knowing radicals helps you grasp the Chinese language more quickly.

You can break down complicated words into smaller, more basic units. Doing so helps you truly understand the meaning and logic behind the words, which will encode vocabulary into your brain for a longer time.

In addition, radicals help you link related words into groups, creating a systematic and efficient learning method. Sometimes, you can just guess a word’s meaning based on its radical.   

Chinese radicals are also used to index characters. The Chinese language doesn’t have an alphabet, so dictionaries use radicals to categorize characters in order. So, in order to look up a word in a dictionary, you need to know radicals!

The complete radical chart 

The exact number of radicals varies. However, the standard & most commonly used radical chart is the Kangxi dictionary published in 1716. This radical chart includes 214 radicals, their Pinyin, and the meaning for each radical. The radicals may have multiple forms, depending on their location within the character. 

Let’s take a look at this radical chart!

No. RadicalPinyinMeaning
1one
2gǔnline
3zhǔstroke
4丿 乀 乁oblique
5乙 乚 乛sickle
6juéhook
7èrtwo
8tóushelter, head
9人 亻rénman
10erchild
11to enter
12八 丷eight, separate
13jiōngscope
14to cover
15bīngice
16table
17qiǎncontainer
18刂 刁 刀 クdāoknife
19force
20bāoto wrap
21spoon, man overthrown
22fāngopen box
23to hide
24shíten
25bodivination
26jiéseal
27chǎngproduction facility
28secret
29又 ヌyòustill, hand
30kǒumouth
31wéienclosure
32earth
33shìscholar
34zhǐto go
35suīgo slowly
36evening
37big
38woman
39zichild
40miánroof
41cùnthumb
42小 ⺌ ⺍xiǎosmall
43yóuweak
44shīdead body
45chègerm
46shānmountain
47川 巛chuānriver
48gōngwork
49personal
50jīnturban
51gàndry
52yāotiny
53广guǎngshelter
54yǐngreat, stride
55gǒngtwo, hands
56shoot, arrow
57gōngbow
58彐 彑snout
59shānbeard, brush
60chìwalk around
61心 忄xīnheart
62halberd
63戶 户gate
64手 扌 才shǒuhand
65zhībranch
66攴 攵to bump, hand
67wénwriting
68dòumeasurer
69jīnax, 500 grams
70fāngsquare, direction
71without
72sun
73yuēto say
74yuèmoon
75木 朩tree
76qiàntired
77zhǐto stop
78dǎideath
79shūweapon
80母 毋 毌mother
81to confront
82máofur
83shìclan
84air
85水 氵 氺shuǐwater
86火 灬huǒfire
87爪 爫zhǎoclaw
88father
89yáodouble
90pánsplitted, wood
91piànslice
92tooth, ivory
93牛 牜 ⺧niúbeef
94犬 犭quǎndog
95xuándeep
96王 玉jade
97guāmelon
98tile
99gānsweet
100shēngbe born
101yòngto use
102tiánfield
103疋 ⺪roll, piece of cloth
104disease
105to go up
106báiwhite
107skin
108mǐncontainer
109eye
110máospear
111shǐarrow
112shístone
113示 礻shìto venerate, to show
114róuget away
115grain
116xuécave, swing door
117standing up
118竹 ⺮ ケshìbamboo
119rice
120糸 纟silk
121fǒujar
122网 罒 罓 罓wǎngnet
123羊 ⺶ ⺷yángsheep
124feather
125老 耂lǎoold
126érand
127lěiplow
128ěrear
129brush
130肉 月ròumeat
131chénminister
132personal
133zhìto reach
134jiùmortar
135shétongue
136chuǎnto oppose
137zhōuboat
138gěndecided
139color
140caovegetable
141tiger
142chónginsect
143xuèblood
144xíngcirculate
145衣 衤cloth
146西 覀xilid
147jiànto see
148jiǎohorn
149言 讠yánspeech
150valley
151dòupea
152chùpig
153zhìfeline, cat family
154bèishell, money
155chìred
156zǒuto walk
157foot
158shēnbody
159chēcar
160xīnbitter
161chénmorning
162chuòbrisk walking
163阝 (邑)city
164yǒualcohol
165biànto distinguish
166neighborhood
167金 钅jīngold, metal
168zhǎnglong
169méngate
170阝(阜)mound
171servant
172zhuīshort-tailed bird
173rain
174qīngblue/green
175fēifalse
176miànface
177leather
178wéitanned leather
179jiǔleek
180yīnsound
181页 頁head, leaf
182fēngwind
183fēito fly
184食 饣shíto eat
185shǒuhead
186xiāngperfume
187horse
188bone
189gāohigh
190biāohair
191dòufight
192chàngsacrificial wine
193cauldron
194guǐghost
195fish
196niǎobird
197salt
198鹿deer
199màicorn
200hemp
201huángyellow
202shǔmillet
203hēiblack
204zhǐembroidery
205miǎnfrog
206dǐngtripod
207drum
208shǔrat
209nose
210regular
211齿chǐtooth, engrenage
212lóngdragon
213guītortoise
214yuèflute

Keeping this radical chart in hand can help you memorize Chinese characters better. You can print out the radical chart, keep one copy in your bag and review it whenever you have a minute to spare. Making sentences or flashcards with Chinese radicals is also an effective way to know how to use each word on particular occasions.

Learn radicals with Pandanese! 

Pandanese is an online learning platform with hand-crafted lessons to teach you Chinese radicals, characters, and vocabulary.

Using mnemonics & Spaced Repetition System (SRS) learning techniques, Pandanese guarantees to help you conquer 6000+ characters in one year. 

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