I was curious when I noticed that 暖 contains the character 爱, so I thought that in the traditional form, it would have 愛, the traditional form of 爱. But it appears that 暖 has the same form in both simplified and traditional - as far as I'm aware.

So the question is, what is the relationship between these characters? Does 暖 contain the same character as in 爱, love, or is the simplified form of 愛 simply the same as the right part of 暖 by coincidence?

  • 暖 nuǎn, xuān ≠ 暧 ài (as in 暧昧),in fact 暧 has traditional form 曖,on the other hand 援 缓 also have same 2nd half as 暖
    – user6065
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 22:41

2 Answers 2


If you look carefully the components are different:


爱 has a 冖 where 爰 is just a 一.

The Outlier dictionary gives us the origins of 暖:


In 暖, 日 “the sun; light; period of time” is a semantic component.

In 暖 nuǎn, 爰 yuán is a sound component.

We can compare it with Outlier's entry for 愛:


愛 was originally composed of 心 “heart, mind” and 旡 jì, a sound component. 旡 has become enter image description here in the modern script, and 夊 has been added. [Reference, p. 792]


enter image description here

In 愛 ài, enter image description here is an empty component. It was originally 旡 jì, the sound component, though the sound relation is not obvious in Mandarin.

In 愛, 心 “heart” is a meaning component, pointing to the original meaning “benevolent love.” [Reference, p. 792]

In 愛, 夊 “foot” is an empty component. Many variants are created by adding 夊, while the meaning expressed by the character is not changed. It’s very likely that this is the case here.

While the simplified version has been given some extra added meaning:


爱 ài contains enter image description here and 友 “friend” to express the original meaning “benevolent love.” enter image description here is a corruption of 旡 jì, which gave the sound.


enter image description here

In 爱 ài, enter image description here is an empty component. It was originally 旡 jì, the sound component, though the sound relation is not obvious in Mandarin.

In 爱, 友 “friend” is a meaning component, hinting at the original meaning “benevolent love.” [Reference, p. 792]


The right part of 暖(nuǎn) is 爰(yuán) and it's not 爱 or the traditional form 愛.

In ancient Chinese, 爰 is a kind of pronoun, like "where/which". And it also has other meanings, one is "to change". But if you saw "爰爰" in ancient articles it meant "leisurely".

Technically, there is few relationship between 暖(or 爰)/爱(愛). Or one can say by force, they have the same Chinese character component, the first four strokes on top of 爰/爱. It means 爪(tail), and in ancient Chinese it also means "hand". See? "to change" one should use his hand, and to love one might cook/make a gift by his hand.

You must distinguish 暖 and 暧(曖, ài). For 爰 there is no traditional form. 暖 means "warm/to warm", and 暧 means dim.

Ready for higher order? Try these!

  1. 㬊(huǎn) is not 暖(nuǎn) even one puts 日 over 爰, it is the opposite of 暧(dim), "bright".

  2. 暖(nuǎn) has another pronunciation, xuān. "暖姝" (xuān shū)means "have a high opinion of oneself". BUT "暧昧" (ài mèi) means "ambiguous/dubious/shady".

  3. 暧 also means "warmly", so it is 暖... (Of cause this is contentious!)

  • 3
    「愛」字解錯了,不从「爪」。看看 @user3306356 的答案,上部本从「旡」而後來訛變爲「⿱爫冖」;「旡」作爲聲符。解字之前請參考古文字學著作,例:季旭昇《說文新證》,預防新中文學生見不符合語言來歷的解釋而迷惑。
    – dROOOze
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 9:06
  • @droooze 第一,我沒有說它從爪,我用了「by force」做假設;第二,簡體字裡「爱」「爰」皆是爪部。我認為對剛剛學習中文、能提出觀察結論的朋友們解釋「從爪」「從旡」,會增加理解難度和字數,所以我沒有這麼做。但是您提的意見很對,希望外國朋友能加深理解。
    – Hao FU
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 9:25
  • 2
    可能有點誤會。當爲英語網站,StackExchange 不僅僅是爲剛剛開始學習中文者之便。很多已識漢字的華人、日本、韓國朋友們也可能過來找釋字答案,所以這裏答案都該符合文學。
    – dROOOze
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 9:35
  • 1
    @droooze 您說得對,我贊成。但是,本題有初級錯誤,當循序以識字誘之。把字全拆解了,理是對了,難度卻高了。
    – Hao FU
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 9:40
  • Oh thank you, I had never noticed how these forms were different!
    – Lou
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 21:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.