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Chinese Character Bites – #54 – 而

Chinese Character Bites 54 - 而

Our character for today is 而

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

Pronunciation:

This character is pronounced ér in the 2nd tone.

What it means:

On its own, 而 is used in the middle of a sentence as a connector and means ‘and’ or ‘furthermore’.

It is also used in connecting words like 而且 (furthermore), 然而 (however) and so on.

Let’s break it down:

Originally, 而 came from a picture of a beard or whiskers, a meaning which is irrelevant for the modern meaning, because the character was borrowed for the modern meaning simply because it had the same sound.