Question: When handwriting 黄 (huáng; yellow) is it incorrect to have a disconnected 草 (cǎo; grass) radical on top?

Specifically, this is what I have in mind:

writing 黄 with or without a disconnected 草 radical

Is the one on the left in the above image incorrect?

  • It doesn't have that radical, no matter in which form. 艹 is simply wrong . Actually, all the font that different from the target orthography is incorrect Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 20:58

2 Answers 2


Neither the PRC form「黄」nor the ROC/HK form「黃」contains「艸・艹」. The top of the PRC form「黄」is written as「龷」.

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「黃」originally depicted a person「大」with a swollen chest/abdomen as a kind of deformity/sickness, indicating the meaning weak, feeble; a mouth「口」was added to the top later, emphasising the person sighing in distress. The word that「黃」originally represented is now written as「尪」.

The modern descendant shapes from the above are:

  • ROC/HK form:

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  • PRC form:

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As can be seen, there was never a「艸・艹」component in the character.


The character 草 was written as 艸 (combined with two 屮-s) at first, the component 早 below was added later, while the component 艹 in modern simplified Chinese is absolutely a wrong form.

The character 黄 is a simplified Chinese character, the traditional form is 黃, which is combined with 廿, 一, 田 (or 由 sometimes) and 八, there is no relationship with 艹.

The handwriting in your picture may be incorrect, I searched in Google and I didn't find any version like yours. You could changed it to 廿 (traditional form) or 龷 (simplified form).

  • I had to downvote this for the rather ludicrous statement that “the component 艹 in modern simplified Chinese is absolutely a wrong form”. There is absolutely nothing wrong about the three-stroke radical variant of 艸 in simplified characters (nor indeed in traditional characters when it is used there). Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 17:33
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I am surprised that a foreigner would disagree the point. Actually I want to explain that I thinks this form is incorrent in the view of the Chinese word-formation, there is not any relevant to the fonts or writtings. The simplified characters used mainly in mainland China, even the fonts support traditional characters, the component 艹 is still three strokes for all characters. I mean, that theglyph specifications of mainland China is irrational.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 18:17
  • @JanusBahsJacquet The traditional characters used in Hong Kong and Taiwan, some fonts also support simplified characters, but their glyph specification does not recommend to write the component as one horizontal line and two vertical lines, they use two 十-s instead, even if writting simplified characters.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 18:17
  • My point is that you have no objective basis for calling either form “absolutely wrong”. Both forms are simplifications of a more complex form (just like so many other radicals are), and both have been in extremely common use for centuries, since long before ‘traditional’ and ‘simplified’ characters were codified into fonts and glyphs; they are just simplified in different ways. It would be just as correct for me to say that the four-stroke variant is “absolutely wrong”. Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 18:21
  • The modern 艹 comes from three different radicals, 艹, 卝 and 艸/⺿ (written as two 十-s now), it is absolutely wrong to confuse them, for that it has become national standard, so it turns right? even you think it is right but I don’t think so, just unable to change it.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 18:31

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