learning Chinese characters with radicals
This month, I'm going to introduce the 人 and 亻 radicals. Both are known as the person radicals; the former can be a character as well as a radical, but the latter is always just a radical. The character 人 is a pictogram. Doesn't it look a bit like the splayed legs of a person walking when viewed from the side? Characters with radical 亻 are usually related to the activities of human beings, and this radical is always placed on the left side of a character. Let's look at some examples:
从 (cóng) – to follow, to obey. This character look likes two people (人/rén), one following the other.
众(zhòng) – crowd. As the saying goes, three's a crowd. Three 人 together make a crowd.
休 (xiū) – to rest, take a rest. It consists of radical 亻 and the character 木 (mù), which means tree. A person rests by leaning against a tree, just like in this pictogram.
们 (men) – added to personal pronouns for the plural. 我 (wǒ) means "me," "I," or "myself," and when 们 (men) is added to it, as in 我们 (wǒmen), it means "we" or "us." Similarly, 他们 (tāmen) means "they" or "them" (masculine), and 她们 (tāmen) means "they" or "them" (feminine).
仆 (pú) – servant
你 (nǐ) – you
他 (tā) – he, him
仅 (jǐn) – only, merely