Using 人, we can come up with the following useful phrases:
人人 = 人(person) + 人(person) = everyone [original post:]
工人 = 工(work) + 人(person) = worker [original post:]
主人 = 主(to host) + 人(person) = host [original post:]



Source: Chineasy


Person 2.jpg



妻子 (qi1 zi), 太太 (tai4 tai4), 老婆 (lao3 po2), 夫人 (fu1 ren2)

The phrase 夫人 (fu1 ren2) means ‘Mrs’ and is the title used to address a married woman in a fairly formal setting. It can also be used to address a woman with respect, such as:

居禮夫人 / 居里夫人 (ju1 li3 fu1 ren2) Madame Curie
柴契爾夫人 / 柴契尔夫人 (chai2 qi4 er3 fu1 ren2) Madam Thatcher
杜莎夫人 (du4 sha1 fu1 ren2) Madame Tussauds

Based on the examples above, can you tell when we address people in Chinese, do we put the surname or title first? What other Chinese titles do you know? Share with us in the comments!

Pinyin: fu1 ren2
(Traditional, Simplified and Kanji)
Pronunciation/Stroke Order:

P.S. What’s the name of the ‘Madam’ you find here: Anyone know? 

Source: Chineasy




People 4.png


The phrase 工人 is made up of two simple building blocks. 工 looks like an I-beam (a steel beam used to make buildings), which can help you remember its meaning: ‘work’. 人 means ‘person’, so 工 (work) + 人 (person) = worker.

In addition to ‘worker’, 工人 can also mean ‘labour’ in some contexts. For example, ‘黨/党’ (dang3) means ‘party’ (as in a political organisation that you vote for). So, ‘labour party’ in Chinese is 工人黨 (gong1 ren2 dang3) and 工黨 (gong1 dang3) is a short form of that.

The phrase 工人 can also be used to form some names of occupations in Chinese. For example:

1. 機械 (machine; ji1 xie4) + 工人 (worker) = mechanic 機械工人
2. 建築 (construction; jian4 zhu4) + 工人 = construction worker 建築工人
3. 水管 (water pipe; shui3 guan3) + 工人 = water pipe worker/plumber 水管工人

Do you know any other Chinese occupations with 工人 in the name?

Pinyin: gong1 ren2
(Traditional, Simplified and Kanji)
Pronunciation/Stroke Order:

Source: Chineasy


In Chinese, ‘artificial’ is the combination between ‘person’ (人) and ‘work’ (工).
人 (person) + 工 (work) = 人工 [literally] (person’s work; man-made; artificial)

人工 pinyin: rén gōng/ren2 gong1

Source: Chineasy


主人 host/master

We recently learnt the character for master (remember, the person carrying the torch!) today we will learn the phrase for identifying “master person” instead of, say, the master carpenter or a master of ceremonies.

This phrase is a combination of the character for 主 (master) and 人 (person). Simple really! This phrase can also mean “host” – that is a party host, not the host of a parasite. Yuk!

主(host, main) +人 (person) = (literally) host person = host or master = owner

Pinyin: 主zhǔ(zhu3); 人rén (ren2)

Style: Traditional & Simplified

Rarity: Common

Source: Chineasy 


Source: Hua Zhong Wen


好心人 = 好心 (Good Intentions) + 人 (Person) = Kind-hearted Person; Someone with Good Intentions

For me, a 好心人 is someone who tends to think the best of everyone, has a great capacity to care and look out for others. What does that mean to you? How do you decide if someone is a 好心人?

Pinyin: hao3 xin1 ren2
(Traditional and Simplified)
Pronunciation/Stroke Order:

Source: Chineasy



All four of the characters you see here contain the building block 人. Can you see them all?

There are two variations of 人. When it’s on its own, it resembles a side view of a person walking, like this: 人. When it’s joined with other building blocks to form a new character, the stand-alone 人 gets squeezed like this: 亻. I like to remember the squeezed version (亻) by imagining the right-to-left stroke (丿) represents a person’s arm and the straight vertical stroke (丨) represents the body.

Now, I bet you can find all of the 人 characters in these compounds: 仙 (immortal), 伙 (group), 休(rest). Usually, when you see 亻in a character, the meaning is associated with people.

Another thing I should point out is that in left-right structured characters (like the ones we are looking at today), 亻is ALWAYS placed on the left side.

Besides these three compounds, what other characters also have 亻in them? Hint: think subject pronouns… 

Source: Chineasy


Hey, here’s a quick question for review: 亻 is a _____ version of 人. What word fills in the blank?

So, will the building block 人 always be squeezed when combining with other building block(s)? It’s not quite as simple as that. 人 will only become 亻when it’s placed on the LEFT side of compound characters. Otherwise, 人 will keep its original form like in the characters 众, 來, and 閃 as you can see in the picture.

Here is the summary about 人vs.亻:
1. 人 means ‘person’ and is happy on its own or combined with other building blocks.
2. 亻is a squeezed version of 人. In Chinese, the name of 亻 is called 單人旁/单人旁 (dang1 ren2 pang2). It can’t be on its own and only appears on the LEFT side of a compound character.
3. 人 and 亻wouldn’t appear together in a compound character.
Which point above is new to you? 1, 2, or 3? Or, did you already know these rules?

Source: Chineasy



仙 = 亻 (person radical) + 山 (mountain) = immortal; [literally] (people in the mountain). Source: Chineasy

Source: Chineasy


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