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See also: ?


Stroke order
8 strokes
Stroke order

Han character

? (radical 12, ?+6, 8 strokes, cangjie input ? (TMMC), four-corner 44801, composition ???)

Derived characters

See also


  • KangXi: page 127, character 18
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 1472
  • Dae Jaweon: page 286, character 10
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 1, page 245, character 1
  • Unihan data for U+5176


simp. and trad.
alternative forms ?

Glyph origin

Historical forms of the character ?
Shang Western Zhou Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han) Liushutong (compiled in Ming)
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts
?-oracle.svg ?-bronze.svg ?-seal.svg ?-bigseal.svg

In the oracle bone script, it was originally ?, a pictogram () of a basket.

In the bronze inscriptions, ? was added under the basket to represent a stand. It may also have acted as a phonetic component.

Later borrowed for an Old Chinese pronoun. The derivative ? (OC *k?) refers to the original word.


third-person possessive pronoun
Schuessler (2007) notes its origin is not certain because in the linguistic area pronouns tend to be of the shape KV (K=velar stop; V=vowel). Perhaps Sino-Tibetan; compare Mizo khi ("that"), Tibetan -, - (-kyi, -gyi, "genitive suffix"), but a Tibeto-Burman /a/ should be expected in this set. Alternatively, Proto-Austroasiatic *ki/ke ~ *ku/ko ("third person pronoun") whose earliest form is perhaps *k? (Pinnow, 1965) appears to be phonologically closest to the OC word. ? (OC *) may be related to ? (OC *?a, "he").
modal particle "should; probably"
Probably cognate with ? (OC *, "stipulated time; time"), ? (OC *k?, "year") (Serruys, 1982).

Pronunciation 1



  1. +he; she; it; they; one
    ??  -  tóusu?hào  -  to adapt to somebody's taste (lit. to cater to that which one likes)
  2. +his; her; its; their
    ?? / ??  -  gès?zhí  -  each person performs his own function
  3. +that; those
  4. + among which; therein
    • ???,??,????,?? [Classical Chinese, trad.]
      ???,??,????,?? [Classical Chinese, simp.]
      From: ,
      Sìs?ng sh? xi?otóng chí f?, yú luànshí ji?n, zé y?'èr kòu zh?, k?ngk?ng rán. [Pinyin]
      The temple monk let his young servant hold an axe, and among the rocks pick one or two spots and strike at them. A sonorous sound was produced.
  5. +probably; perhaps
    Synonyms: (dàgài), / (huòx?)
    • ???????,???! [Classical Chinese, trad.]
      ???????,???! [Classical Chinese, simp.]
      From: I Ching, 3rd - 2nd millennia BCE
      Zh? jìntuì cúnwáng ér bù sh? qí zhèng zh?, wéi shèngrén h?! [Pinyin]
      The person who knows to advance and to retire, to maintain and to let perish, without ever acting incorrectly, can probably only be the sage!
    • :????,?????????????,???!? [Classical Chinese, trad.]
      :"???,?????????????,???!" [Classical Chinese, simp.]
      From: The Analects of Confucius, circa 475 - 221 BCE, Wiktionary translation
      Z?yu?: "Bù yuàn ti?n, bù yóu rén. Xià xué ér shàng dá. Zh? w? zh?, ti?n h?!" [Pinyin]
      The Master replied, "I do not murmur against Heaven. I do not grumble against men. My studies lie low, and my penetration rises high. There is probably only Heaven who knows me!"
    • ?,????? [Classical Chinese, trad.]
      ?,????? [Classical Chinese, simp.]
      From: The Analects of Confucius, circa 475 - 221 BCE, Wiktionary translation
      W?i Gu?nzhòng, wú bèifàzu?rèn y?. [Pinyin]
      But without Guan Zhong, we should now be wearing our hair unbound, and the lappets of our coats buttoning on the left side.
  6. +(adverb indicating a rhetorical question)
    Synonyms: ?/? (q?), / (nándào)
  7. +(adverb indicating imperative)
  8. +if
    • ??????????,????????,,???????,????? [Classical Chinese, trad.]
      ??????????,????????,,???????,????? [Classical Chinese, simp.]
      From: Mencius, circa 4th century BCE
      Wáng zh? f? miáo h Q? b? yuè zh?ji?n hàn, zé miáo g?o y?. Ti?n yóurán zuò yún, pèirán xiày?, zé miáo bórán x?ng zh? y?. rúshì, shú néng yù zh [Pinyin]
      Does your Majesty understand the way of the growing grain? During the seventh and eighth months, when drought prevails, the plants become dry. Then the clouds collect densely in the heavens, they send down torrents of rain, and the grain erects itself, as if by a shoot. If so, who can keep it back?
    • ???,???,??? [Classical Chinese, trad.]
      ???,???,??? [Classical Chinese, simp.]
      From: ,
      xì y?, zé yíyí ér xíng, mànmàn ér yóu. [Pinyin]
      If I am free, I will walk slowly and travel unrestrainedly.
  9. +(conjunction indicating a question with choices) or
    • ????:?????????,??? [Classical Chinese, trad.]
      ????:"????????,????" [Classical Chinese, simp.]
      From: Zhuangzi, circa 3rd - 2nd centuries BCE
      G?ngwénxu?n jiàn Yòush? ér j?ng yu?: "Shì hérén y Wùh? jiè y Ti?n yú, rén yú?" [Pinyin]
      When Gong-wen Xian saw the Master of the Left, he was startled, and said, 'What sort of man is this? How is it he has but one foot? Is it from Heaven? Or from Man?'
    • !??????,???????????? [MSC, trad.]
      !??????,???????????? [MSC, simp.]
      From: , ?
      W?h?! Yán y?u qióng ér qíng bùk? zh?ng, r? zh? y? yé? bù zh? y? yé? [Pinyin]
      Alas! My words can end but my grief cannot. Do you know? Or do you not know?
  10. (Min Dong) Possessive particle.
  11. A surname​.


Pronunciation 2



  1. +Used at the end of a sentence to show doubt.
  2. +Used in personal names.
    ??? / ???  -  Lì Yìj?  -  Li Yiji (an advisor to Liu Bang)





("Jinmeiy?" kanji used for names)


  • Go-on: ? (gi); ? (go)
  • Kan-on: ? (ki)
  • Kun: (sono, ); (sore, ); (sore, ?); ? (shi, ?)



? (hiragana ?, r?maji shi)

  1. (archaic) that
  2. you
  3. oneself



? o (gi) (hangeul ?)

  1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.


Han character

? (, k?, , kh?i)

  1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.

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