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).

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).

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.

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).

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.

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.

Jǐngchá zhuō dào yī gè xiǎotōu.
The police caught a thief.

How to say “I hate you” in Chinese?

The opposite of 我爱你. (Wǒ ài nǐ. I love you.) is 我恨你. ( Wǒ hèn nǐ. I hate you.)

(hèn) is to hate or to regret. This word can also serve as a noun, meaning hatred. As with love, there are various flavors of hatred and resentment. (yuàn) as a verb means to blame or to complain. As a noun, it means resentment or antagonism. And 怨恨 (yuànhèn) means to hold a grudge against someone, or the resentment or grudge itself. 仇恨 (chóuhèn) is hatred between enemies. A deep-seated bitter hatred is called 深仇大恨 (shēnchóudàhèn).

恼恨 (nǎohèn) is to hate and feel bothered. 痛恨 (tònghèn) is to utterly hate someone or something. 憎恨 (zēnghèn) means to detest. 嫉妒 (jídù) is to be jealous of someone. Therefore, 嫉恨 (jíhèn) is to hate out of envy. 愤恨 (fènhèn) is to hate with indignation. These words can also be used as nouns, as the following example shows:

Tā de yǎnshén lùchū wúxiàn zēnghèn.
The expression in his eyes revealed immeasurable detestation.

In the above sentence, 无限 means without limit, or infinite.

怀恨 (huáihèn), or 记恨 (jíhèn), means to nurse a hatred or resentment.

Tā duì nǐ huáihèn zài xīn.
He bears deep grudges towards you.

可恨 (kěhèn) is an adjective that means abominable.

Nà xiǎotōu zhēn kěhèn.
That thief is really despictable.

The phrase 恨不得 (hènbude) expresses a great desire to achieve an unlikely result or effect and the regret of not being able to do so.

Wǒ hènbude mǎshàng fēi dào nǐ shēnbiān.
I wish I could fly over right away to be by your side.

后悔 (hǒuhuǐ) means to regret or to feel remorseful. Therefore, 悔恨 (huǐhèn) means to be deeply remorseful. Here, the “resentment” is towards oneself.

Wǒ hǒuhuǐ méiyǒu dǎdiànhuà gěi tā.
I regret not having called him.

对于那事件, 我感到非常悔恨.
Duìyú nà shìjiàn, wǒ gǎndào fēicháng huǐhèn.
I feel extremely sorry about that incident.

Please note that when by “hating” you mean “being displeased”, you should use 不高兴 (bù gāoxìng) rather than (hèn).

Wǒ bù gāoxìng tā yòu chídào le.
I hate that he’s late again.

What else will irk you?

Learn Chinese characters that look so darned similar (1)

We’ve often come across English words that differ only by one letter but are worlds apart in meaning – “Pray” and “prey”, “real” and “reel”, “sweet” and “sweat”, just to mention a few. And in tiny font, “rn” may be indistinguishable from the letter “m”, particularly if you are myopic. You will encounter a similar problem with Chinese characters. A detail-oriented person will be able to quickly spot the minor difference between two very similar characters. However, the untrained new pair of eyes may easily mistake one for the other. We’ already encountered a few, such as (rén person) and (rù enter), (tiān sky, heaven) and (fū husband, man), and (wáng) and (yù). Let’s look at a number of other examples.

(gōng) means labor, worker or craftsmanship. Work is called 工作 (gōngzuò).

We know that (tǔ) means soil, land, indigenousness or provincialism. We’ve discussed its use as a word radical.

Reverse the length of the two horizontal strokes (tǔ), and one gets (shì), which represents a guard, a polite title with which to refer to a person, or a piece in Chinese chess that operates like a bishop in western chess. 士兵 (shìbīng) is a solder (a private). 人士 (rénshì) is a personage or a public figure.

Zhè jiàn shì yǐnqǐ le shèhuì rénshì de tóngqíng.
This incident has aroused sympathy from the people in the society.

(qiān) means a thousand, or “a great number of” something. Make the top-most stroke a straight horizontal stroke, and one gets (gān dry, to be concerned with) or (gàn a trunk or the main part of something; to do).

Zhè bù gān wǒde shì.
This matter does not concern me.

Add a slanted stroke on the left side of (gān) to form (wǔ noon). And if you let the vertical stroke stick out, you’d get (niú an ox or a cow).

Tilt the top-most stroke of (tiān) a little, and it becomes (yāo), which means to die young. This character is most often used in the terms 夭折 (yāozhé to die young) and 逃之夭夭 (táozhīyāoyāo to flee).

Nàge xiǎotōu yǐjīng táozhīyāoyāo le.
That thief has already run away.

Put a curve in the last stroke of (tiān) and it becomes (wú nothing, without). Note the difference between (wú) and (yuán), which means “first”, “principal” or “fundamental”. It is the name of a Chinese dynasty. It is also a unit of currency.

So, you see that, in writing Chinese characters, the relative lengths of two stroke often make a difference. It matters whether a stroke protrudes beyond another stroke or not. It also matters whether two strokes originate from the same point or not.

(dāo) is a knife. It is also a unit of one hundred sheets of paper. (rèn) is the edge of a knife or a sword. It also means to kill with a sword.

(lì) means strength, power, or making a great effort. Add two drops of sweat to it to get (bàn), which means to do, to tackle or handle a matter, or to punish by law.

Zhè jiàn shì bàn de hěn hǎo.
This matter was handled very well.

(qī) is the number 7. (bǐ) is an ancient type of spoon, while 匕首 (bǐshǒu) is a dagger.

(jiǔ) is the number 9. On the other hand, (wán) is a pellet or a ball, such as 肉丸子 (ròuwánzi meatball).

As an adverb, (yòu) means once again.

Tā yòu kū le.
She is weeping again.

As a conjunctive, (yòu) is used in duplicate and means “both … and …”, such as in 又快又好 (yòukuàiyòuhǎo done well and speedily) and 又高又大 (yòugāoyòudà tall and big).

Add a tine to (yòu) to obtain (chā), which is a fork. 刀叉 (dāochā) means knife and fork, while 交叉 (jiāochā) is to intersect.

More to come later. In the mean time, try to make a sentence for each new term you have learned today.

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