Beginner in Chinese?

Sign up to get a free basic Chinese course complete with MP3 audio, 
plus learning tips and video lessons! 

Chinese Character Bites – #25 – 地

Chinese Character Bites 25 - 地

Our character for today is 地

Simplified Chinese character: 地
Traditional Chinese character: 地
(The simplified character and the traditional character are the same)


This character is sometimes pronounced dì in the 4th tone, and sometimes pronounced de in the neutral tone.

What it means:

When pronounced dì, it means ‘earth’, ‘land’, or ‘place’.

When pronounced de in the neutral tone, it usually comes after an adjective, and makes that word or adjective into an adverb. For example 快 is ‘quick’ and 快地 in the middle of a sentence would mean ‘quickly’.

Let’s break it down:

The left hand side of the character is the radical 土, which means ‘ground’ or ‘earth’.
The right hand side of the character 也 originally indicated the pronunciation, (although it’s not really relevant to the modern Chinese pronunciation.)