Some of my friends who don’t speak Chinese find it really hard to understand how are the words formed in Chinese language. Unlike English, Chinese language doesn’t have letters which can be combined to form words. So does that mean that there is a unique character for every single word in Chinese language? If you have been following this blog, by now you should have figured out that’s not the case.
We have already learned that the same character, with the same pronunciation and tone, can have more than one meaning depending on the context and use. Please review the post Three uses of 想 (xiǎng). So yes, there isn’t a unique character for every single word in Chinese language.
手 (shǒu): hand
Now let’s combine it with other characters:
手册(shǒucè): handbook; manual
手机(shǒujī): cell phone