A commonly used phrase is 没关系 (méiguānxi) which means "it doesn't matter"; it's used respond to 谢谢 (thank you) and 对不起 (sorry).

I found in this question that 系 can also be pronounced jì, as in 系好安全带 (jìhǎo ānquándài) meaning "fasten your seatbelt".

This means is a 多音字 (duō yīnzì) or a heteronym (multiple pronunciation word).

Question: When is 系 pronounced xì/xi and when is it pronounced jì?

Doing a bit of Googling, I find:

  • 中文系 = Zhōngwén xì (Chinese department)
  • 太阳系 = tài yáng xì (solar system)
  • 系统 = xì tǒng (system)
  • 联系 = lián xì (to contact)

It looks like xì/xi is the default pronunciation. I didn't find much with jì, except possibly 系好鞋带 (jìhǎo xiédài) = "tie your shoes".


3 Answers 3


[] is a traditional character as well as the simplified form for both [] and []

没关 = 沒關

中文 = 中文

统 =

= 聯


Pinyin: xi4

[1] system; series; set

[2] department; faculty



Pinyin: xi4 | ji4

[1] tie; connect; fasten; bind up

[2] relate to; bear on; depend on

[3] be concerned; miss; bind to

[粵] hai6 | [國] ji4

button up; wear; knot



Pinyin: xi4

[1] [粵] [v] to be; is; are

[2] [粵] yes, it is; indeed; right; positive

[3] [n] relation; relationship; consequence


Question: When is 系 pronounced xì/xi and when is it pronounced jì?

  • 系 is pronounced /xi4/ when it is a traditional character (no difference in simplified form ), and means: system; department

  • 系 is pronounced /xi4/ when it is the simplified form of 係, and means: relation; relationship; consequence

  • 系 is pronounced /ji4/ when it is the simplified form of 繫, and means: button up; wear; knot


I think you already got it.

Most of time, it's pronounced as xì/xi 系. When pronounced as(jì), it means 'fasten' and 'tie'. 系安全带. and 系鞋带. are good examples.

  1. 系:This is a multiple pronunciation word.
  2. 系[xì] 系统;世系。谱系;直系亲属。 某些学科中分类的名称。汉藏语系;印欧语系。 高等学校按专业性质设置的教学行政单位。数学系;历史系。 地质学名词。地层系统分类的第二级,小于界,相当于地质年代的纪。 姓。System;Lineage.Spectrum;Immediate family.The names of categories in certain subjects. Sino-tibetan language family; Indo-european. The teaching administrative unit of higher education is set according to the professional nature.Department of mathematics;The history department.Geological terms.The second level of stratigraphic system classification is less than the boundary, which is equivalent to the period of geological time.Last name.
  3. 系[xì]是。联缀,涉及,关系。挂念,牵记。[xì] is.Affix, involving, relation.Hang up, worry。
  4. 系[jì]打结或扣上。Tie [ji] knots or buckles.

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