Newbie here. It makes sense that "ài" means "love" in the context of hobbies; you're doing what you love. What does "hào" mean here, though? Is it just a strange pronunciation of the standard "hǎo"? Or is it more like "hào" is used to mean "lovely"? Thanks!

  • bkrs:hào to be fond of to have a tendency to to be prone to 1) 动 爱、喜爱。 2) 名 心中所喜爱的事。
    – user6065
    May 12, 2017 at 18:50
  • Hi @user6065, thanks for your comment. However, those examples appear to use "ài", not "hào". I already know the meaning of "ài". May 12, 2017 at 19:49
  • 好(hào) also means [like to / fond of] beside['good / well]
    – Tang Ho
    May 12, 2017 at 21:17
  • 1
    Did you try any dictionaries before asking here? Your answer is on yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php May 12, 2017 at 21:32
  • ??? "those examples" explain the meaning of 好(hào) in Chinese
    – user6065
    May 12, 2017 at 22:43

2 Answers 2


When a character have multiple similar pronunciations, such as 好 with different tones, it can means different part of speech for the same/similar concept. This phenomenon is called 四声别义. For example:

  • 好(hǎo,上声): adjective. good.

    好(hào,去声):verb. like.

  • 少(shǎo,上声): adjective. few.

    少(shào,去声): noun. young people.

  • 骑(qí,阳平): verb. ride.

    骑(jì,去声): noun. rider (on horse).

  • 教(jiāo,阴平): verb. teach.

    教(jiào,去声): noun. teaching.

In your question, 好 of 爱好 is a verb. The meaning is similar to 爱. Therefore, people combine these two characters to mean a verb, to like. 爱好 can also be conjugated (called 活用 in Chinese) as a noun, means hobby.

  • Chinese verbs can be conjugated?!
    – Ludi
    May 16, 2017 at 6:42
  • @Ludi Maybe calling it conjugation is inaccurate. What I mean is the part of speech of the words can be flexibly changed, such as noun -> verb, verb -> noun, adj -> verb, etc. May 16, 2017 at 6:50
  • @HarrySummer Thanks for the very thorough answer! So, by using what would otherwise be a verb in a spot where noun should be, you effectively conjugate the word? As in any other language, I'm sure this doesn't apply to all verbs, but it sounds similar to saying "I have my likes and dislikes," as opposed to "I like some things and dislike others." Same word, different part of speech simply by moving it. May 18, 2017 at 18:45

[粵] hou2 | [國] hao3

(1) [adj] good; fine; nice | [ant] 壞



[粵] hou3 | [國] hao4

[v] like; love; be fond of

[v] be liable to; be likely to


好(hao4)酒= like to drink

好(hao4)賭= like to gamble

愛好= 'love and like' = interest/ hobby

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