We’ve got 3 new characters to learn so let’s get started. All of the characters in this lesson have one thing in common. A straight vertical line right down the middle, which is important to the meaning of these characters. These3 characters are used in lots of different words. But their basic meanings are top, middle and bottom. Let’s take a look at them in details.
Do you remember how to say top in chinese?The word l’m looking for can also mean up, above and over. Right the word is shàng,and you can think as a horizontal line as being like the ground and all the important stuff here is on top of that line, or above ground. This is how it’s written stroke by stroke. This is the same character that’s in the word, morning, zǎo shàng. And the word for evening, wǎn shàng. And this is also the same shàng that means last, as in last week.
Shàng ge xīng qī and last month shàng ge yuè. Great, that’s our first character. This is our next character. This character is the opposite of shàng. It’s xià. Xiàhas lots of meanings, it can mean bottom or down or under or below. This character is almost like a upside down version of shàng. That lone vertical line stays in the middle,but the horizontal line is on the top and as if all the important stuff is happening below ground or under that line. Here’s how it’s written stroke by stroke.
This character is used in the word afternoon. Xià wǔ. It’s also used in the phrase yí xià that indicates a quick action. And it makes your words sound softer and less stiff. You use it with the verb like kàn as in kàn yí xià, take a quick look. And you can also find the characterxià when talking about next week, xià ge xīng qī and next month xià ge yuè. Ok, that’s for the character xià. Now our last character means middle or center. How do you say that in chinese? Right, it’s zhōng, with the character for zhōng, you will again gotthe lone straight line down the middle to use as a reference point.
Then you’ve got a rectangle in the middle, it’s like somebody says I’m gonna draw a circle around the middle of this line. Here’s how it’s written stroke This is a very important character in China, since it’s part of the word for China zhōng guó. Literally middle kingdom.And it’s also part of the word for chinese language, zhōng wén. Literally middle kingdom language. This is also the character that you find in the word noon or mid-day zhōng wǔ. Shàng Xià Zhōng So now you know the characters for top middle and bottom. In our next lesson, we will take on 3 more hàn zì. But first I should tell you xiàcì jiàn.