During studying 条 character in one of the dictionaries I have found decomposition of this character to two components:

  • 夂 zhǐ: to go
  • 木 mù: tree; wood (Kangxi radical 75)

I see the 夂 component but I am not sure of 木. Should it not be 小 or something similar instead to 木? When I've enlarged the font it resembles 小 without the horizontal stroke.

  • Even after the form changing process, it still resembles 小 with a horizontal stroke. Why do you say it's without a horizontal stroke?
    – Betty
    Jun 6, 2012 at 4:45

3 Answers 3


条's radical is 木. That's an established fact. Just consult any Chinese dictionary. It's derived from 条's old form (旧字形), which lacks the tick.

  • I'm not sure what you mean by "the tick" when you say the traditional form would not have the tick. Could you include a form of the character with and without the tick? I found the simplified version, 条, and the traditional version, 條, but the traditional form has more strokes, not fewer.
    – Don Kirkby
    Jun 7, 2012 at 20:11
  • He said old = 旧字形, not traditional = 繁体字. Here's a link with some older forms and a character analysis. This one is particularly clear. Jun 21, 2012 at 12:33
  • I was partially wrong. I removed the part about the tick not being present in texts from regions outside mainland China. My memory played a trick on me there. Jun 21, 2012 at 20:40
  • Looks like it's not present in Japanese use of the character (same Unicode code point, different fonts, so I can only give a link ) Jun 22, 2012 at 3:06
  • Hmm... I just looked it up on Wiktionary en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E6%9D%A1 and it seems that my original speculation was correct. It might also have to do with the font used. I will have to confirm with someone who uses the Traditional Chinese script natively. Jun 22, 2012 at 4:20

That decomposition is incorrect.

「条」is shorthand for「條」(Pinyin: tiáo, Baxter-Sagart Old Chinese: /*[l]ˤiw/, /*lˤiw/), which is composed of phonetic「攸」(Pinyin: yōu, Baxter-Sagart Old Chinese: /*liw/) and semantic「木」(wood).「木」sometimes looks like「ホ」when written on the bottom of characters; exact shapes vary between the standards of different regions.

The appearance of「夂」is a writing convention;「夂」doesn't contribute any semantic or phonetic function in「条」. At most, it can be seen as an abbreviation of「攸」.


It has to be 木, 条 means 'twig' originally


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