A simple character but also very,very frequent one so we will dive in to 在 today.
Traditional form: 在
Meaning: at , in , on , up to , to rest with , to consist in , to depend on , to be alive , living , to be present , to exist , used to indicate a progressive tense
+ 丨 + 土 土 (earth) suggests the meaning while provides the sound.
Radical part: 土 ,tǔ
Radical meaning: earth, soil
Stroke animation: (the strokes are drawn the direction the picture is tipping)
Etymology: This is a pictophonetic character
The sound is taken from 才 (cái, talent, ability; just, only) and the meaning from 土 (tǔ, earth). The earth does exist even though the debate if it is round or flat might have been under debate ( sorry, that where a bad joke). The original meaning was " to exist, to live". Man do live,exist on earth. It where eventualy extended to also mean "be loacted in" and like.
Link to nciku usage of the character 在 :
指南 zhǐ nán to guide
南京 Nán jīng Nanjing prefecture level city on the Changjiang,
南海 Nán Hǎi South China Sea
南非 Nán Fēi South Africa
南瓜 nán guā pumpkin
南极 nán jí south pole
南下 nán xià southward
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