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How to guess more Chinese characters?

· Learning Chinese,Chinese lesson

I don't want to learn characters. They are too difficult.

So many random lines and slashes......they are too tough for me.


As expats, you are easily scared about Chinese characters. They are like big mountains in front of you. Is there any simple way that you can guess more characters?

YES! Just follow the 3 simple steps below.

Accept the differences and know theoretically how it works.

Chinese are not as difficult as you think, they are just very different from what you are used to.

We take English as an example.


Reading--phonetic system

Writing--pictographic system


Reading--phonetic system

Writing--phonetic system

In writing system

So, how does Chinese character works?

Chinese characters are pictures.
Chinese characters are pictures.

When you look at a Chinese character, you are looking at a stylized drawing that depicts an object, or an idea.



picture of an object


(picture of an abstract idea)

Memorize some basic components of Chinese characters.

To guess more characters, you need to remember some simple components and basic characters. Here are some:

kǒu 口 mouth

木 tree

水(shuǐ) water

火(huǒ) fire

马(mǎ )horse

鱼(yú )fish

日(rì sun日(rì )sun

门(mén doormén )door

Follow the logic of Chinese writing to guess more.

Chinese is extremely logical and consistent.

single characters

  Some simple pictographic components stand alone without combining with other components.

鱼(yú )fish

compound characters


Some pictographs are combined to express complex objects and ideas.

妈(mā )mother

All of the components of a character contribute to its meaning, and sometimes one of the components will give a clue to the pronunciation of the character.

For the compound characters, often we can guess meaning from radicals and guess pronunciation from other components.

To guess the meaning of words, we follow the similar way.

To guess


火(huǒ )+车(chē)vehicle==火车(train)


风(fēnɡ )wind+车(chē)==风车(windwill)

上(shànɡ )up+车(chē)==上车(get into a vehicle)

下(xià)down+车(chē)==上车(get off a vehicle)

When you grasp the above 3 simple steps, you may probably guess the meaning and pronunciation of a character at the first glance if you recognize a component of the character. Let's do it!

(mù )is tree.

What do the following characters mean?


huǒ)is fire.

What do the following characters mean?


Just make a wild guess, and here is the answer:

林(lín )---woods 森(sēn )---forest

休(xiū )--- to rest 沐(mù )---to wash

炎(yán )---hot 焱(yàn )---flame

焚(fén )---to burn 秋(qiū )---autumn

Can't believe your eyes?

Just by watch this wechat essay, you've learned 27 characters and now you are already way ahead of the race!

Good news

Want to learn more Chinese characters?

Mandarin Inn maybe a good choice for you.

We know the most effective ways.

We have high-qualified and experienced teachers.

You'll learn 500 most common Chinese characters faster than you ever thought possible ......

Book a free trial now!

About writer

裴蕾 Pei Lei

  • Majored in MBA.

  • Mandarin Teacher @ Mandarin Inn.

  • Learning with Lei encourages students to speak loudly and proudly.

  • Her lessons are fun, creative and high efficiency with out of classroon support.

  • She loves to share Chinese culture and make friends with people around the world.

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