Chinese radical show – “lid” radical (8)

Posted by Grace Feng on March 21, 2012

In this series you’ll meet Chinese radicals that frequently appear in Chinese characters. To make it simple for you to memorize, I’ll just simply make a beautiful card with the radical on it’s left, and one English word to explain what it symbolize on the right.

In Chinese, radical is called 偏旁 piān páng. Today we’ll learn the radical that is called “lid” –   盖 gài: 宀.

Lid radical is always placed on the top part of a character. Actually, the lid radical originally refer to “under the roof of …”. It can be deemed as the roof of a house or a shed. It’s not hard to figure out the logic behind some characters with lid radicals on top. Such as ān (quiet, peaceful): a girl 女 nǚ sitting in the house. Or  bǎo (treasure): hiding a jade 玉 yù in the house. You get the picture.

The following characters are some examples that have lid radicals:  安宁 ān níng (peaceful) bǎo (treasure)定 dìng (stable), 家 jiā (home).

Chinese radical show – “lid” radical (8)


Related posts:

Chinese radical show – “knife” radical (5)
Chinese radical show – “clothes” radical (21)
Chinese radical show – “see” radical (45)


Category: Chinese radicals

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2 Responses to “Chinese radical show – “lid” radical (8)”

  1. nothing


    03-18-2015 8:43 am

    Hi Grace, I love your site and it has helped me better understand how radicals work and how to read and understand Chinese better than what I was taught in school years back. Now I find that your blog will prove to be a valuable resource for my children as we struggle to teach them Chinese in a English speaking environment.

    On the side, I checked the radical 宀 on an app I got, the pronunciation it shows is mián. Why is it so?


    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      03-19-2015 11:46 pm

      Hi Jules, thanks for your kind note and I’m really glad that my blog is helpful for your Chinese learning. I’ll be so proud if you can use this resource to help your kids to learn Chinese. :-)

      As for your question on 宀, the pronunciation you found on the app is the original pronunciation of this radical in ancient times. It was probably a character of its own at that time. But in modern Chinese, it is only used as a radical. The most common way to name the radical is “宝盖头",or “宝盖".Honestly, the majority of Chinese wouldn’t know its original pronunciation. It’s good to know its original pronunciation, but it’s more useful to know it’s common name I guess. :-)



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