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Chinese Character Bites – #33 – 那

Chinese Character Bites 33 那Our character for today is 那

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


This character is pronounced nà in the 4th tone.

What it means:

那 means ‘that’, for example in 那个 (that one). When it has this meaning, it is sometimes pronounced nèi in northern China.

You’ll also see it is 那里 and 那儿, which mean ‘there’, and 那么, which means ‘in that case’.

Let’s break it down:

The left hand side of the character originally came from 冉, which means ‘fur’. The right hand side is 阝, which means ‘city’. This character was once the name of a city, before it was borrowed to mean ‘that’.