Learn Chinese word radical – Foot

(zú) is the Chinese word for feet. It also means sufficient or ample. Today we will only talk about this character in relation to the feet and the actions that are usually performed using the feet.

Soccer and football are bothe called 足球 (zúqiú) in Chinese. To avoid ambiguity, you could refer to football as 美国足球 (Měiguó zúqiú) or 橄榄球 (gǎnlǎnqiú football or rugby).

你喜欢看足球赛吗?
Nǐ xǐhuān kàn zúqiú sài ma?
Do you like to watch soccer games?

(zhǐ) are the toes. As this character sounds exactly the same as (zhǐ fingers, to point to), it’s best to refer to your toes as 脚趾 (jiǎozhǐ), and your fingers as 手指 (shǒuzhǐ).

脚跟 (jiǎogēn) is the heel. As a verb, (gēn) means to follow. Many people use (gēn) as the conjunctive “and” instead of (hé).

他跟我一样高.
Tā gēn wǒ yīyàng gāo.
He is the same height as I am.

(pǎo) is to run or to escape. You’ve had plenty of practice pronouncing this word while reading/singing the “Two Tigers” song discussed in Chapter 1 of “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes“.

(pā) is to lie prone.

他趴在地上.
Tā pā zài dì shàng.
He lay prone on the ground.

(bié) is to have sprained one’s ankle, and 蹩脚 (biéjiǎo) is used for describing inferior work or a shoddy product.

(tà) means to step on, or to tread on. The bicyle, being a vehicle powered by on’e feet treading on the pedals, is called 脚踏车 (jiǎotàchē).

(tī) means to kick. So, 踢踏舞 (tītàwǔ) is tap dance.

(tiào) is to jump, leap, bounce or skip.

跳水 (tiàoshuǐ) is to spring for a dive, as from a diving board, or 跳板 (tiàobǎn).

跳伞 (tiàosǎn) is parachute jumping.

跳房子 (tiàofángzi) is the children’s game of hopscotch.

If your kid is smart, he or she might be able to skip a grade in school, or 跳级 (tiàojiǎo).

跳棋 (tiàoqí) is Chinese checkers. The action of playing chess or checkers is called 下棋 (xiàqí).

你喜欢下跳棋吗?
Nǐ xǐhuān xià tiàoqí ma?
Do you like to play Chinese checkers?

跳脚 (tiàojiǎo) means to stamp one’s foot, as in anger or frustration.

跳票 (tiàopiào) is to have a check bounced.

他开给我的支票跳票了.
Tā kāi gěi wǒ de zhīpiào tiàopiào le.
The check he wrote to me bounced.

(zhuō) is to grasp, catch or capture. It features both the hand radical and the foot radical and is used in a similar way as (zhuā to snatch) but puts the emphasis on the catching rather than the grabbing.

警察捉到一个小偷.
Jǐngchá zhuō dào yī gè xiǎotōu.
The police caught a thief.

Learn Chinese word radical – Claws

Talons

Talons


The Chinese character, (zhuǎ), stands for claws or talons. Does it not look like a drawing of a chicken’s foot? Some people pronounce this word as (zhǎo). Colloquially we say 爪子 (zhuǎzi) or 爪子 (zhǎozi). Either way is fine. Just make sure that you don’t confuse (zhuǎ) with (guā melon or gourd). 瓜子 (guāzǐ) are dried melon seeds that people enjoy eating as a snack.

We know that (yá) are teeth. Literally, 爪牙 (zhǎoyá) are talons and fangs. However, this term refers to a bad guy’s minions.

张牙舞爪 (zhāngyáwǔzhǎo) is to bare fangs and brandish claws, i.e. making threatening gestures.

魔爪 (mózhǎo) means the devil’s talons or a monster’s grip. 鸡爪 (jī zhuǎ) are chicken claws or chicken feet. (I know which Chinese dish you are thinking of.) 鳞爪 (línzhǎo) are fish scales and bird claws, or bits and fragments. It often appears in the phrase 一鳞半爪 (yīlínbànzhǎo one scale and half a claw).

我对于这件事只知道一鳞半爪.
Wǒ duìyú zhè jiàn shì zhǐ zhīdào yīlínbànzhǎo.
I only have scrappy information about this matter.

In the character, (zhuā), you see both the “hand” radical and the “claws” radical. Therefore it should not surprise you that this word means to grab, to clutch, to scratch, to catch or to arrest.

他抓到一只鸡.
Tā zhuā dào yī zhī jī.
He caught a chicken.

弟弟抓了一把瓜子去嗑.
Dìdi zhuā le yībǎ guāzǐ qù kè.
Younger brother grabbed a handful of melon seeds to munch on.

The blog post at this link discusses a Chinese children’s song about an eagle trying to catch little chicken. There you will learn the word for wings. Then you will know how to say chicken wings in Chinese.

(pá) means to crawl or to climb.

你喜欢爬山吗?
Nǐ xǐhuān pá shān ma?
Do you like to climb mountains?

Many words contain the “claws” radical in a squashed form.

(yǎo) is to ladle up, spoon up, or scoop up.

她舀了一碗汤给我.
Tā yǎo le yī wǎn tāng gěi wǒ.
She ladled up a bowl of soup for me.

(ài) is love (noun), to love, to treasure, or to enjoy doing something.

(mì), or 寻觅 (xúnmì), is to look for or to seek.

(shòu) means to give or award, to vest power in someone, or to instruct (i.e. to confer knowledge). 教授 (jiàoshòu) is a professor.

老教授今天又迟到了
Lǎo jiàoshòu jīntiān yòu chídào le.
The old professor is late again today.

(yuán) means to help or to rescue. For example, 援助 (yuánzhù) is to help or to provide support. 援救 (yuánjiù) is to rescue or to save someone.

(nuǎn) means warm or to warm up. 暖和 (nuǎnhuo) means nice and warm. You can use this term to describe a balmy day or a warm jacket.

(shùn) is a wink or a blink. 瞬间 (shùnjiān) means a moment, momentary or momentarily.

那颗流星瞬间就不见了.
Nèi kē liúxīng shùnjiān jiù bùjiànle.
That shooting star disappeared in the blink of an eye.

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