The Chinese character 马
And its component form
- surname Ma
马 is both a character and a character component
马 can be used as a phonetic component in a Chinese character. You’ll find the Chinese character component 马 in characters and words pronounced “ma”.
These characters all contain 马 and sound like “ma”:
When used as a character component, 马 can also be found in words that are not pronounced “ma”.
The Chinese language is over 5000 years old, so, unsurprisingly, some characters’ pronunciations have evolved a little over time. Chinese characters containing 马 will therefore sometimes have a pronunciation close to the sound 马 but not quite the same. You’ll find sometimes 马 in words that are related to horses.
Words related to horses but not pronounced “ma”
You can find the character component 马 in words like:
驵 zǎng : powerful horse
骑 qí: to ride (an animal or bike); to sit astride
骘 zhì: stallion; to rise; to arrange
骋 chěng: to hasten; to run; to open up; to gallop
骁 xiāo: brave; good horse; strong
All 80,000+ Chinese characters share the same character components. Chinese character components are therefore essential for Chinese learners: they are the building blocks of Chinese. Character character components help tremendously with understanding a character: they provide information on its meaning or on its pronunciation. In short, knowing character components will help you analyse, learn and remember each Chinese character much better.
Join us on Ninchanese as we teach you everything about the Chinese character components you need to know, little by little.
Related: Explore the key character components to know one by one, with this selection of meaning components and phonetic components.