speak chinese like a native

Confusing character traps - A collection

Posted by gesang April 5, 2008 in the Group General Discussion .


I leared so much from reading conversation posts... Think this one would be something useful to read for everybody, too!

Just started a list, 

Hope to expand later and with your adds!!!




便 [pian2] cheap, advantageous (ex.: 便宜  cheap)

便 [bian4] – ordinary, easy, then (ex.:方便  convenient)


 [yi3] – already (ex.: 已经  already)

 [ji3] – self, personal (ex. 自己 – self, own)


 [ren2] – people (ex.:人民  the people)

 [ru4] – to enter (ex.: 入口  entrance)


 [le5] – comleted action maker, imperativ particle...

 [liao3] – to know (ex.:了解  to understand)


 [gan4] – to do; to oppose; dry (ex.:干什么  what are you doing?)

 [yu2] – in,on,at (ex.: 由于 due to)


 [tu3] – earth (ex.: 土豆  potato)

 [shi4] – scholar, knight (女士  Lady,瑞士  Switzerland)


 [yi1/4] – clothes, wear (ex.: 衣服 – clothes)

 [nong2] – agriculture (ex.: 农村- rural area)


 [qie3] - (ex.: 而且  furthermore)

 [mu4] -  ( ex.:目标- goal)

 [zi4] -  (ex.: 自私- selfish)


 [jian1] – place, space (ex. 房间  room)

 [wen2] – hear, smell (ex.: 新闻  news)

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