i’m trying to learn chinese again for the first time after a very long time and i’m just looking at meanings of words to see what individual characters of certain words mean (like 饭 is rice and 店 is shop so 饭店 is restaurant).

anyway, i looked up 水果 and i saw that 果 means fruit already, so i was just wondering why the 水 is there.

(i’m really sorry if this doesn’t make sense or if this has been asked already because english isn’t really my first language so i don’t really know how to explain or search for what i mean exactly).


3 Answers 3


droooze wrote:

果 does not only mean fruit - it can mean "result, accomplishment, achievement" as well.

It is a good explanation for why we don't just say 果 when we mean 'fruit'.

Also, 腰果, 白果 are nut (果仁). The single character 果 is too general to be used specifically for 'fruit'.

And there's more:


For Cantonese, 生果 and 水果 are two different things. 生果 is fruit that grown on tree and 水果 is edible plant that grow in water (e.g. 水蓮藕 is a kind of root and 水菱角 is kind of nut). But for Mandarin, 水果 referred to all fruit that grow on tree and the term 生果 is rarely used.

  • Really enjoyed the video, thanks for sharing!
    – judester
    Apr 15, 2018 at 23:47

Just as a possibility for the use of 水 in 水果, I would not know where to verify or refute this:

水果 of course refers to 'fresh fruit' and its counterpart is 干果 also 果干 ‘dried fruit' '没含水的果‘, such as 葡萄干 raisins or currants, 苹果干,those dried apple rings you see in the supermarket, 香蕉片 those hard dry banana slices.


There are some differences between 果 and 水果,but mostly when we say 果 we mean 水果, not including 干果. The main reason why we use 水果 instead of 果 is that Chinese tend to use words consisting of two characters. For example,we say 果盘 instead of 水果盘(meaning fruit bowl).

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