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Chinese Character Bites – #8 – 在

Our character for today is 在

In simplified Chinese characters: 在
In traditional Chinese characters: 在
(It’s the same in both traditional and simplified Chinese characters)

Pronunciation:

This character is pronounced zài in the 4th tone.

What it means:

在 can mean a couple of things.

It can mean ‘to be in or at a place’, or simply ‘at’, ‘in’, or ‘on’, for example 在家 (at home).

It can also mean that something is happening at the present time, -ing, for example 我在吃饭 (I am eating right now).

Let’s break it down:

The radical in this character is 土 which means ground or earth, and is related to the meaning ‘to be at or in a place’.

The other part of the character is a variant on 才 cái (which gives a hint to the pronunciation of the character – it’s fairly similar to zai).

Another day, another character cracked! Keep it up!