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The 500 Most Commonly Used Chinese Characters

If you are a beginner in the Chinese language or plan to start to learn Mandarin, you must know the 500 most commonly used Chinese characters. These words can help you lay a solid foundation for your further Mandarin study and facilitate your learning progress.

These 500 most commonly used Chinese characters reflect the basic rules of Chinese character formation. That’s because there are rules in the formation of Chinese characters.

Chinese characters mostly consist of basic characters plus radicals, parts, and strokes to form new characters. No matter how complex the shape of Chinese characters is, there is always a basic character and components.

Therefore, once you have learned the basic Chinese characters that are most commonly used, you could know more Chinese characters by adding radicals, parts, and strokes, and boosts your learning of the new Chinese characters.

And memorizing Chinese vocabulary would be your new mission for the next level of learning; you could get some inspiration from the article about the best resources to learn Chinese vocabulary.

To help you better learn and master these commonly used Chinese characters, we have listed out some useful tips for your reference:

TIP 1: Insist on learning every day.

Learn a few Chinese characters each time. Through continuous learning and input, you could gradually accumulate the literacy of Chinese characters.

When you start learning, you can choose those Chinese characters you are interested in to learn. Interest is the best teacher.

At the same time, the learning task for a Mandarin beginner is to lay a solid foundation and read. Therefore, the most basic criterion for learning these 500 Chinese characters is to recognize and read again.

Reading this article about HOW TO LEARN CHINESE IN 5 MINUTES can help you make your learning efficient.

TIP 2:Recognize first and write later.

Chinese characters’ structural relationships and morphological characteristics are relatively obvious and easy to read, but writing is more difficult for Mandarin learners. You can first spend more attention to learn how to perceive the shape, understand the meaning of the word, remember the sound, and reduce the writing requirements. Recognize first and write later; recognize more and write less.

TIP 3: Stroke decomposition

Correctly decompose Chinese characters into strokes, especially composite strokes, such as “horizontal, skew, curved hook,” “horizontal fold, folded hook,” and other complex strokes, which help write Chinese characters and are also helpful for searching Chinese characters.

TIP 4: Stroke order

Choose Chinese characters that are easy to be written in the wrong stroke order for practice. For example, words such as “与、车、火、出、脊、登、考、皮、讯、管、凹、凸” are easy to be written in wrong stroke order.

TIP 5: Flashcard

There are various flashcards on the market, and you can also make them yourself. It is best to use a card with Chinese characters on the front and pinyin and paraphrase on the back (or pictures). There are many ways to use literacy cards, such as looking at Chinese characters, guessing the pronunciation, meanings, and connecting words. This method is not only suitable for self-study but also convenient for two people to practice together.

TIP 6: By increasing or decreasing strokes

Select several Chinese characters and learn new characters by adding or subtracting strokes to form new characters.

TIP 7: Use Radicals to form new words

Choose a radical, such as “扌,” or the pronunciation “Ling,” and try to recall as many Chinese characters as possible.

TIP 8: Avoid typos.

For Mandarin beginners, pictophonetic characters are often confused. After adding radicals, the literal meaning of the original character will change differently, and guessing the general meaning of the literal will often make a mistake. To avoid typos, you can increase the Chinese character reserve by increasing the amount of reading.

TIP 9: Learning whenever you can

The place to learn Chinese characters is not limited to schools. As long as you have conditions, you should use the pocket of time to learn as many Chinese characters as possible. For example, often look through the dictionary, watch Chinese character programs on TV,  try the self-test questions on Chinese characters published in newspapers and magazines, etc.

Chinese characters are highly adaptable and have strong word-building capabilities. The same Chinese character has different meaning changes and functions in different word formations and in different sentences. After mastering this rule of Chinese character formation, you can make your Chinese character learning scientific and systematic. It can also improve the speed and quality of Chinese character learning.

After mastering these 500 most commonly used Chinese characters, learning another 3000 Chinese characters will become very easy!

 

Below is the most commonly used Chinese Characters:

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

            使              

                          

                          

                     西     

                          

                          

            便              

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

                          

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